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New Presque Isle library sign reflects community contributions

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Mark and Emily Turner Memorial Library now has a front entrance sign that honors all people who have helped the library transform into an even more vibrant community space, according to Library Director Sonja Plummer Eyler.

The new granite stone sign — which is 9 feet long, 12 inches thick and 6 feet wide — contains the words “Presque Isle Public Library” and was installed on Tuesday, June 12. Eyler said the sign was originally planned as part of the library’s interior and exterior renovations that occurred between 2013 and 2014 but that money received through community donations was used for other sections of the library instead.

Although the library has not changed its official name that honors Mark and Emily Turner, who donated $50,000 for the library’s renovation project, the Board of Trustees decided to include on the sign a name that honors all who made financial contributions to the project, including Mary Akeley Smith — granddaughter of former librarian Beulah Akeley and daughter of Robert and Hope Akeley — and Howard and Espa Michaud.

The sign and installation cost about $20,000, with $15,000 of the funds coming from the library Board of Trustees and $5,500 approved by the Presque Isle City Council to come from the city’s capital improvement fund.

Eyler noted that the new sign also is visible to people traveling from both directions of Second Street, where the library is located, and helps distinguish the building as a unique gathering place and cultural center for the community. In the future, the library also plans to install outdoor seating and continue to improve its garden space.

“We want to make our entrance and garden even more attractive for people who like to be outdoors and have the library be a beautiful place for the community to walk to and enjoy,” Eyler said.

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