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Friends of library get by with a little help from Home Depot
Pete Fontaine
Sheila Manney, secretary of the Friends of Mohr Library, presents Marian J. Mohr Memorial Library Director Jon Anderson with the keys to a new shed that was made possible by the non-profit group and Home Depot Foundation.

The Friends of Marian J. Mohr Memorial Library, who take pride in their non-profit organization’s ongoing used books sales, have eliminated a huge storage problem. On the morning of Oct. 27, Friends secretary Sheila Manney presented Mohr Library Director Jon Anderson with the keys to a brand new storage shed where the Friends will now store all their used books.

“We have had great difficulty in storing our used books,” Manney said. “We had people keep our books in a van that was parked in the Ferri Middle School parking lot. We had lots of our books in private homes...It wasn’t a good situation.”

The books are important to library programs, as the Friends’ used books sales raise money for the library.

“The donated books come mostly from people in the community,” said Helen Antonizio, Friends president. “Proceeds from the used book sales also benefit the community through the programs and services that are over and above the library budget.”

In celebration of National Library Week from Oct. 21-27, the Friends of Mohr Library celebrated with the presentation of the shed that sits opposite the front door to the library. The project was set into motion by a Home Depot employee who mentioned to a Friends member that the store was looking for a community project to take on.

The Friends wrote to Home Depot and applied for a grant from the Home Depot Foundation. They were successful in that request, and Louann Reeves stepped in. Reeves works at the Pro Desk of the local Home Depot store on Stone Hill Road in Johnston.

“She was an ongoing source of help,” Manney said. “She guided us through the building and construction details with patience, in spite of our many changes and helped the Friends get this job done.”

Likewise, Manney praised MaryAnne McBroom, the Home Depot Foundation’s Northern District Captain, whom she said “was instrumental in getting the shed approved as a Johnston community project that would benefit the whole town.”

Once Mayor Joseph Polisena and Johnston’s Library Board of Trustees gave the okay on the project, it was all systems go. The mayor enlisted the services of the town’s Department of Public Works, which cleared the site, leveled it and put down gravel and stone in preparation for the shed’s permanent home.

Manney and Antonizio, as well as Anderson, are thrilled with Mohr’s new used book storage shed, which was built within three hours after a truck pulled into the library parking lot and unloaded the necessary materials.

“The Friends would have had great difficulty in completing the shed without the assistance of so many generous people,” Manney said. “The Johnston Police Explorers Post 405 also had a hand in helping us move books from previous book sales that were stored in garages all around town.”

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