Canal Fulton Public Library Open House
Saturday, August 28th Noon to 3:00 p.m.
The Canal Fulton Public Library will have an Open House to celebrate the opening of our new addition on Saturday, August 28th from noon until 3:00 p.m. The Canal Street Ramblers will provide music, the Board of Trustees will have a ribbon cutting ceremony, and the Bill Gang Magic Show will provide entertainment. Refreshments will be served. There will be activities throughout the library, and the winners of the coloring contest will be announced. Those who sign up for a library card will be eligible for prizes.
The Canal Fulton School District Free Public Library opened officially July 19, 1949 in the Sullivan House. Many renovations have changed the façade of the original building, including a 1958 addition that featured Palladian windows, and a lower-level for a children’s room. Renovations were also made in 1992 and in 2004.
As part of the development of the Strategic Plan for 2015 -2019, the library conducted a survey of community members, leaders, library patrons, staff and board members, and the general public. One goal of that plan was to “Build a handicapped accessible meeting room for CFPL Board meetings, library programs, presentations, school group study space, study/quiet space for tutoring or personal studying, and a meeting space for community organizations.”
The State Library of Ohio collects statistics on public libraries in Ohio. In the survey for 2015, they asked whether the library had meeting rooms available to the public for free. Out of 23 public libraries with similar sized service area populations (CFPL’s is 13,248), only 2 said no: Canal Fulton Public Library, and Napoleon Public Library in Henry County. The CFPL was the smallest in either Stark or Summit County, and the only library system without a program/meeting room.
In February 2016, the Board of Trustees asked library staff what was needed in additional space. Replies included a space for library programs, office space for department managers, and space for storage of program supplies and equipment. The library also needed to be able to provide the public with handicapped accessible board meetings, and rest rooms.
In 2018 the library’s Board of Trustees contracted with IAP Government Services Group to manage the building project. IAP then helped the library to select and hire an architect, which presented the exterior designs to the Canal Fulton Historical Preservation Commission in 2019.
Johnson Laux Construction started construction of the addition May 1st, 2020. The Coronavirus caused many delays, and construction took about a year to complete. The addition has been open for library program use, but the library wanted to wait to have a celebration until after a vaccine was available. The library is following the CDC and the Stark County Health Department recommendation: Masks are recommended for all vaccinated and unvaccinated people while indoors. Children under 12 must wear a mask.