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Westminster library branch rededicated while construction on expansion project continues

Carroll County Public Library executive director Andrea Berstler looks at a rendering of the Exploration Commons under construction during a rededication ceremony at the Westminster branch Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.
Carroll County Public Library executive director Andrea Berstler looks at a rendering of the Exploration Commons under construction during a rededication ceremony at the Westminster branch Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

Carroll County Public Library officials hosted a rededication ceremony of the Westminster branch on Friday, acknowledging the Exploration Commons project now under construction.

The project is planned to add a 14,000-square-foot makerspace, including a professional teaching kitchen and other collaboration-focused workspaces and meeting rooms, in the lower level of the library, at 50 E. Main St. This new space, called Exploration Commons is scheduled to open this fall, according to a library system news release.

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Also in that release, the library system announced a $200,000 donation, from the Davis Library Inc., to support the expansion. The donation was made in observation of the 71st anniversary this year of the gift from Walter H. and Elizabeth R. Davis that “established free public library service in Carroll County,” the release states.

A tour of the Carroll County Public Library Exploration Commons site followed a rededication ceremony at the Westminster branch Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.
A tour of the Carroll County Public Library Exploration Commons site followed a rededication ceremony at the Westminster branch Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

“This major gift continues the legacy of Walter H. Davis. He believed in and supported equal access to learning resources for all,” Sharon Hafner Yingling, fundraising chair for Exploration Commons, said in the release. "I can think of no better way to continue that support than by helping our library bring new technology and skills to our community.”

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More information about the project and a link to contribute toward the fundraising goal is available at explorationcommons.carr.org.

The Westminster branch, along with all other Carroll County Public Library branches, reopen Monday after being closed since mid-March in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The branches will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Project manager Bill Arthur of Lewis Contractors leads a tour of the Exploration Commons underneath the newly rededicated Westminster branch following a dedication ceremony Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.
Project manager Bill Arthur of Lewis Contractors leads a tour of the Exploration Commons underneath the newly rededicated Westminster branch following a dedication ceremony Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

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