Nearly 1,000 people visited the temporary location of the Havre de Grace branch of the Harford County Public Library during its opening Tuesday.
The space is about half the size of the branch it's replacing. That branch has been closed to make way for a new library building on the same site.
Irmgarde Brown, the branch manager, said Wednesday 963 people attended the opening of the temporary branch in the Tidewater Marina Building at 203 Market St., a much larger crowd than the 500 to 600 people who typically visit the former branch at the intersection of North Union and Pennington avenues each day.
"We've been complimented on having done a good job with the small space that we have and making it look welcoming, so, so far so good," Brown said.
About 5,000 square feet in the Tidewater building is being used for the library branch, and about 3,200 square feet of that space is available for public use; the rest is set aside for staff use, storage and preparing to move into the new branch, Brown explained.
The one-story former branch, which closed in late September after serving the community for 27 years, took up about 8,000 square feet.
The new two-story $7.72 million branch is scheduled to open in early 2016 on the same spot as the one that's about to be demolished. The new building will be about 19,000 square feet.
Mary Hastler, director of the Harford County Public Library, said the demolition is scheduled to begin this week and last through mid-November; a groundbreaking ceremony for the new branch is scheduled for Nov. 12.
Havre de Grace Library patrons were encouraged to visit the Aberdeen branch for materials during the nearly three weeks the Havre de Grace B ranch was closed.
"I think people are just really happy that it's back in business, and the doors are open, and they love their library," Hastler said.
Brown said branch staffers are working to use the limited space in the Tidewater building as efficiently as possible.
A separate area is available for children's activities, although adult and teenage patrons must share space and the 10 computers that were brought from the Union Avenue branch, which had a popular teen room.
Brown said tables and chairs have been set up in the space near the Market Street entrance so patrons have space to socialize or study.
"What we're trying to do is really use the space wisely until we move into the new library," Hastler said.
The space has a concrete floor, which Brown described as beautiful, but she noted the lack of a carpet amplifies noise.