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Correspondent

TOWNSEND — There’s a lot happening at the Townsend Public Library and Director Heidi Fowler is planning even more activities once the new facility opens in the fall of 2009.

Sterilite is building a new multi-use building and donating it to the town of Townsend. The structure will include a senior center, library and a large municipal meeting room.

“I have high hopes we’ll be able to increase service,” Fowler said. The large room adjacent to the library will make it easier to run group events during library hours.

Due to space limitations in the current library, it is difficult to spare a staff member to run special programs, she said. If the event is held at nearby Memorial Hall, the staff member cannot be called on to help in the library when needed.

The library is open 40 hours each week. There are four full-time and three part-time employees. Fowler said some staff members lead activities, while at other times volunteers run programs or the library hires someone to come in.

* Almost 20 people braved the cold to make a holiday centerpiece at a workshop run by the library at Memorial Hall Monday evening. Dixie Pickard from the Bronze Bell florist shop in Pepperell brought the supplies and provided instruction.

Packard has led several workshops in Townsend and holds classes at her shop.

“She’s very patient,” said Louise Batitis, one of the crafters. “One year we made a tree centerpiece and that was nice.”

This year’s centerpiece was a basket of greens with highlights of red berries and ribbons. Packard reminded the artists to cut the greens on an angle and to keep all the stems radiating from the center of the basket.

Young Madison Rowley was not too sure how her basket would turn out. She was smiling at the end, though.

“I like it,” she said. The creation will probably go on the dining room table even though she said the kitty might eat it.

The Bronze Bell offers classes throughout the year at the shop. John Packard, who owns the shop along with his wife, Dixie, was on hand to help out. He said in spite of the economy, the shop is having a good year. Eight people made a boxwood Victorian kissing ball at a recent class.

* The library holds monthly knitting groups, children’s story times and Renaissance dance classes, in addition to special events. Authors visit to read their works and there are craft workshops and concerts.

Kate Chadbourne will perform Irish songs and stories on March 17 to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. More details will be available at a later date.

* Library supporters can now get a special license plate.

Celebrate libraries by displaying the new Massachusetts library license plate. Proceeds will benefit public, academic, special and school libraries across the state that belong to a Regional Library System. Just go to www.cmrls.org/plates.htm and download an application.