SABATTUS – Esther Reynolds has been counting the heads of tikes at story time sessions.

Recently she has been counting the number of boxes it will take to pack up her library.

It’s not hard to spot the brightly labeled “Help Wanted” sign nestled in the lower corner window of the Town Square Community Library, but after receiving little to no support from its community, the library will soon close its doors in hopes for a better tomorrow.

For years, the nonprofit library, surviving solely on grant money and volunteer help, has been battling against all odds to keep its doors open.

In the past, it has prevailed.

However, like a cat on its ninth life, the library has hit an obstacle that may finally put its operations under for good.

A month ago Reynolds, library volunteer and Sabattus Elementary teacher aid, received a notice informing her that the library would have to start paying rent of approximately $1,125 a month or be evicted from its current location on Sabattus Street.

Since 2002 the library has been allowed to reside in the Sabattus Mall rent free, however now with a possible bidder on the mall, that space has acquired a price tag.

Volunteer librarian Christy Daigle knows that is a rent the library cannot accommodate.

“Without a budget, you don’t get very far very fast,” she said. “I’m not really sure what we are going to do yet.”

This was repeated numerous times during an emergency library board meeting held last month as seven volunteers gathered around a table to suggest possible locations to house the library.

The old Sabattus town building and church basements were among a handful of options the board considered for shelter. Three weeks later, with two weeks to go before eviction, a home has yet to be found for the library.

Sabattus town clerk and library volunteer Robin DuLac feels as though the library has never been given a fair chance.

“Now that we are starting to get established no one wants to help us,” she said. “This is the way it has always been.”

In the past, the library suffered great losses including the departure of its former director due to lack of finances and the termination of its after-school program when funding ran dry.

“We have received grants in the past that have helped,” Reynolds said. “But what we don’t have is the community’s support.”

“It was disappointing not to get backing from the town,” Reynolds said in response to the town’s denial to allot the library $5,000 to accommodate its needs. “They have never had a library before and don’t know how important it is and can be to its community.”

Taxpayers approved $1,000 for the library.

“If we don’t eventually find a home, then the donated books will have to go to the school,” Reynolds said. “That will be unfortunate seeing the school library is not open to the public and cannot be reached during the summer.”

Now as they start to sell off books to reduce required storage space, volunteers have taken action.

“We have even written to the turnpike authority about some local buildings to move into,” Reynolds said. “However, until something comes up, we are in a waiting mode.”


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