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A sign of the times: Scout aids library in its mission


GROTON — Lawrence Library looks to be positioned to take full advantage of the arrival of good weather after a long winter.

Positioning itself as a happening place, the library’s administration signaled its intentions at a meeting of the Board of Library Trustees last month when they met with a local Boy Scout to finalize plans to replace its sign on Main Street.

As the first thing visitors see welcoming them to the library’s historic building, having proper, attractive signage is important in conveying an up-to-date sense of modernism, not the old-fashioned mustiness some might associate with books in an age of Twitter, Facebook and Kindle.

Thus, 17-year-old Sean Ernst plans to replace the library’s existing sign with a new 5-by-4.5-foot version that will be lit from above, visible at any time of day.

The sign project will help Ernst earn the coveted Eagle Scout award, capping his 13-year career as a Scout.

“I actually got the idea two years ago when I saw the sign after we had an early snow in October,” recounted Ernst, a student at Devens’ Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School. “The sign had fallen down and I thought at the time ‘Wouldn’t replacing it with a new sign be a nice thing to do?’ So I talked to library director Debra Spratt about doing it for my Eagle Scout project.”

Spratt agreed with the idea and Ernst began work organizing the effort.

Meeting with the Trustees April 3, Ernst said everything is moving ahead smoothly with a completion date tentatively set for the end of May.

Ernst said fundraising for the project is also encouraging, with $750 raised from local businesses so far. The Lions Club is promising to make up the difference between whatever he finally raises and the total cost of the sign.

“So we’re very busy raising a lot of money,” said Ernst. “It’s pretty fantastic!”

The sign itself has been designed by Mike’s Signs of Lowell and is due to be presented to the town’s building commissioner for approval soon.

Meanwhile, a full crew of volunteers has been lined up to help Ernst erect the new sign when the time comes. Work will include digging trenches for burial of electrical wires from the sign to a switch box located on the library building.

But that’s only the start for the library.

Ongoing is a music series sponsored by the Friends of the Library that takes place every second Friday in which local talent of any age from pianists and singers to poets wanting to recite their work are invited to perform at special open mic nights even as more professional musicians perform every third Saturday.

For instance, on Saturday, April 20, Worcester based folk-rock band Nemes is scheduled to perform.

Finally, there are the library’s art gallery exhibits, including its current offering by the Squanacook Colonial Quilt Guild on display from March 9 to April 13,

“The philosophy we have here,” said Spratt of the library’s goals, “is that there’s something here for everybody.”

So the public is urged to join the growing excitement as more pleasant weather brings people out of doors again. And with the library’s overall circulation having risen by 6 percent in the past several months and average daily visits reaching 330, it behooves those interested to stay on their collective toes so as to not miss out on anything from musical performances to the arrival of the latest best-seller.

For information about what’s happening at the library, visit