The Andover Public Library is hosting a birthday bash to celebrate five years in its new location.
The celebration will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26, with snacks, prizes, party hats and a juggling performance at 1:30 p.m. by Flying Debris.
The Library opened at its new location at 1511 E. Central Ave. in October 2008.
In December 2004, the Library received a grant to construct the new building. After years of fundraising, construction began in the summer of 2007 and opened the following year.
Assistant Director Cheri Nienke reminisced about the construction, "I used to go over on my lunch break and just watch them building it."
With added space, the Library's collections have increased dramatically. There are currently more than 50,000 items. Approximately 30,000 of those have been acquired since moving to the new location.
"We are looking forward to checking out our one millionth item sometime this spring," said Young Adult Librarian Tori Hamilton. "We currently have 960,000 checkouts."
Since opening in 2008, the Library has served more than 500,000 people and has had 1,366 library programs with more than 34,000 attendees.
Hamilton said, "I think the library is an important part of any community. It provides opportunities to people who otherwise might not be able to experience them."
"I think books are important because reading other people's stories helps us make the most of our own," Hamilton said.
The original library in Andover was founded in 1965 by Girl Scout Troop 680 with only 300 books and was located in the Andover State Bank building.
That building had been donated by Fred Wilson and the Library was originally called the Fred Wilson Memorial Library.
From there, the Library moved to the basement of City Hall and then to the building on Andover Road that is now the Andover Historical Museum before finally moving to its current location at Andover Central Park.