, Salem, MA

November 2, 2012

'Night at the Library' could spell better furnishings for patrons

The Salem News

---- — DANVERS — Teddy Roosevelt will not return to life, as in the movie “Night at the Museum,” but attending the black-tie-optional “Night at the Library” will certainly liven up the town building — and help spruce up the interior for patrons.

“The aim of the fundraising piece of it is so we can purchase new furnishings for the library,” said Alan Thibeault, director of the Peabody Institute Library. That includes study and activity tables, chairs, draperies, and other furnishings, depending on how much is raised. The proceeds will not go to office furniture for the staff, only for furnishings to make patrons more comfortable in the library and in the children’s room.

Most of the library’s furnishings date back to 1980, Thibeault said. That’s when a below-ground wing, including space for a children’s room and archival center, was added to the building. The library itself was built in 1892.

“The building itself isn’t the issue,” Thibeault said. “It’s the stuff that’s in it.”

The more-than-30-year-old chairs and tables have become wobbly.

Of the library’s 90 chairs from that time, Thibeault junked about 45 of them because they were not usable. Some even broke while patrons were using them.

Replacement chairs came thanks to the Danvers High renovation project, which included a new high school library. Thibeault got their old chairs, but while they’re sturdier than the ones he had to scrap, they are institutional-looking and are actually older than the chairs he had to throw out. They date back to 1974.

The library’s homework center and young adult area do have new furnishings, Thibeault said.

Thibeault said he hopes to raise enough money to buy new furnishings that will last just as long as those from 30 years ago.

The black-tie-optional evening of hors d’oeuvres, buffet stations, drinks and music, plus a live and silent auction, takes place at the library, 15 Sylvan St., on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 6 to 10 p.m.

Tickets cost $50 apiece and can be purchased online using a credit card at the library’s website,, or using cash or a check at the circulation desk at the library.

If possible, tickets should be purchased by this Saturday so a head count can be given to the caterer. Ticket sales will continue the week prior to the event.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.