What a wonderful community turnout we had for our grand re-opening and ribbon cutting Saturday.

Would you believe that our gate count registered just over 1,200 library lovers visiting us? And that's not counting the many babies that were being held in parents' arms.

For the first few hours the children's area was like a big beehive of activity. Parents and children were entertained with the many activities and engrossed with finding books to take home after a month of no access to our library. Miss Jean was like the ringmaster of a three-ring circus.

The adult areas were full of people too. The 32 computers in the library were busy, people were admiring the layout of the library, enjoying socializing with each other, appreciative of the display case donated by the Audubon Outdoor Club and enthralled at seeing one of the four volumes of Audubon's Elephant Folio on display.

I expected a turnout of 200 to 300 for the ribbon cutting, maybe up to 500. At 10:45 a.m., we were getting a little anxious about the turnout. But in another 5 to 10 minutes, people started streaming across the street.

By 2 p.m. we had had over 700 people, at 4 p.m. the gate count registered 1,000 and by the time we closed the library at 6 p.m., it was just over 1,200. What an out-pouring from individuals and families who were anxious to see the inside of the library after the many months of watching the changes from the outside. I certainly underestimated the turnout.

The outside mosaic tile artwork of birds and plants was icing on the cake.

We are indebted to Calallen school district for allowing us to use the Annaville East Cafeteria for 13 months rent-free. Yes, we were crowded, but we managed. Having the library open was far better than shutting our doors and storing the books for a long period of time.

If you missed the opening on Saturday or just wanted to avoid the crowds, please come in, you'll love your new library. We are back to regular hours: 2 to 9 p.m. on Mondays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 to 6 p.m. on Sundays during the remainder of the school year.

We had many volunteers who helped us pack up and then shelve the books; we couldn't have done it as quickly as we did without them. Thanks to all of you.

It goes without saying that my staff worked hard every minute of every day; they are wonderful people who are committed to making our branch the best. There were a number of things that needed to happen before we opened. Somehow they all came together and we breathed sighs of relief. It may take a village to raise a child, but it took a community to reopen the library.

Thank you to all that were involved.