Marilla Couch, director of the Mexico Public Library, is seen with one of the volunteers, Josh White. The library will be moving from Main Street to Parker Street in mid-August. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

MEXICO — The Mexico Public Library will officially close at 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, as officials prepare to move the library from Main Street to the recreation center on Parker Street, next to the current police station and Free Store, according to Director Marilla Couch.

“My goal has been to have everything in place by Labor Day, with a grand re-opening shortly after Labor Day. I’m still unsure if that will be able to be the final goal for a number of reasons,” said Couch.

Meanwhile, she said anyone who has books may return them to the current library location. “If the library is closed, you may still leave them in the drop box next to the emergency door on Main Street. A drop box has been purchased and will be set up soon up at the rec center also. No books will be charged fines.”

Couch said, “If you are an avid reader who comes in regularly — plan to get all the reading material that you may need before Aug. 12 because I will only open the door for volunteers who have offered to help, or people who are donating strong medium sized boxes. These are two big needs.”

There will be two more summer reading programs before the closing date — Wednesday, Aug. 3 will be Dr. Seuss Day, and Wednesday, Aug. 10 will be Ice Cream Day. The summer lunch program will also continue Tuesday through Friday from noon to 12:30 p.m. outside the current library location.

The library’s new location is Fire & Iron’s workout room at the recreation center. The fitness business will be moving to the basement, according to Town Manager Raquel Welch-Day.


She said selectmen first discussed the move in early June. As a result of that discussion, the town held a straw poll at the June 14 Town Meeting to ask if citizens supported selling the building, which they did, 197-114.

Welch-Day said voters will be asked in November to sell the building presently housing the library.

Couch told selectmen July 5 that when she first heard about the idea of moving the library, she was totally against it.

“But then I got thinking about what the pros and cons are to a move, and there really are, in my opinion, more pros.”

The library will be set up in two of the large rooms right on the main floor. “There are accessible doors for the handicapped at the back of the building, the two rooms will be connected by an open doorway, and the lighting is fantastic,” said Couch.

She said the space is about the same size as the current building, but it is all on one floor, which is much more appropriate for many of the patrons.


“I have been trying to get various age groups into the library by doing various activities,” Couch said. She’s seen success with adults through the art programs, writing programs, author speaks and a genealogy discussion. She’s also been successful with children by hosting a Dr. Seuss birthday party, summer lunches, summer reading programs and the Christmas open house, which included art activities and a visit from Santa.

But teens have been a struggle. “They don’t really want to join the adults. They don’t really want to do the children’s activities, but I can only handle a few at a time for these activities,” said Couch.

She believes some of the teens wait around for basketball or other practices at the rec center. “There are lots of video games, but if the library could be open, they could be on the computers. All computers will be in the same room that I will have my desk, so they will be monitored.”

Couch said she could also help them with their homework as she is a former teacher. “In addition, I have lots of board games. I’d love to have a section to have a puzzle set up at all times, and an art corner for the kids to work on things.”

She also believes there would be more foot traffic for the library at the rec center, and people going to the Free Store might be more likely to come over to get a book to read, as would parents waiting for their children when the kids are at practices or roller skating.

If you wish to help with the move or have boxes to donate, you may contact Welch-Day, or call the library at 364-3281 and talk to Library Director Marilla Couch.

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