LOVELL — A groundbreaking ceremony for an addition to the Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library will take place this weekend, along with an annual craft fair fundraiser.


The Arts and Artisans Fair will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, and the groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16. The latter event marks the start of a $700,000 expansion of the library.


Bill McCormick, the library’s treasurer, said the building campaign to raise money for the addition has been running for at least five years, and ideas about the need for an expansion were being floated for a few years prior to the fundraising.


“We have absolutely run out of space, just because of the size of the collection and things of that sort,” he said. “Our attendance has been fantastic. We don’t have a place where we can put large groups of people.”


The new addition will include a 75-seat multipurpose room and lecture hall, better handicapped access, a librarian’s office, a new circulation desk, and additional shelf space. It will be built by Crowell Construction Management of Stoneham.


Librarian Patty Friedman said the library hosted 175 programs last year, and the additional space will be welcome accommodation for the groups attending the programs. McCormick said the multipurpose room will be separated from the main portion of the library, so it can host both library programs and meetings of community organizations.


McCormick said the “vast majority” of the funds for the addition were provided by private contributions, although the library also received grants for the project. He said library operations will not be affected during construction, and he expects the addition to be ready on June 1. The library is also looking to raise $50,000 for interior work and to create a small endowment.


“Obviously when you put on almost double the square footage there’s going to be some increased costs,” he said.


The building campaign funds were separate from the library’s operating funds, 40 percent of which are provided by contributions from Lovell, Stoneham, Stow and Sweden, and Chatham, N.H., the towns the library serves. The rest of the funds are provided by donations and fundraisers.


Irene St. Germain, chairwoman of the craft fair, said it is the major fundraiser for the library. Admission is free, but exhibitors give a portion of their sales to the library. In addition, the event coincides with a book and food sale.


St. Germain said 53 people will offer goods including pottery, jewelry, clothing and leather work. Two artisans will demonstrate wood turning and glass work. In addition, 10 exhibitors will offer items for a raffle that will benefit the library. The raffle items are on display at the library, and the winners will be drawn at 2 p.m. Saturday at the New Suncook School.


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