More than 1,600 patrons walked through the doors of the new Westwood Public Library on Monday, July 1, 2013.
"It has exceeded our wildest dreams," Library Director Tom Viti told the Board of Selectmen which held the first official meeting in the new building on Monday night.
"The staff was so anxious to get the public in here; they had trouble sleeping last night in anticipation of today," he said. "I think that the kids of this town have done a good job of breaking in the new children's room. Probably the vast majority of the visitors were school-age children and that was particularly heartwarming to see."
Chairman Nancy Hyde thanked Viti as well as library staff and trustees, town staff and volunteers including the permanent building committee, the Friends of the Library, neighbors and abutters, architects, and the town residents for their efforts to create "a huge resource" for the residents to enjoy.
"It's thrilling and I don't think it's something we're going to get used to for a very long time," she said.
The rest of the board agreed.
"I think it's a great thing for the town and I can't wait to see the kids' area and how that gets used," said Selectman Philip Shapiro. "I think it's going to be a great resource for everybody in town; and I think that it's been a long, and occasionally painful, process but I think it was well, well worth it."
"It's really a tremendous accomplishment," said Selectman Patrick Ahearn. "It's going to benefit residents of this town for generations to come and all of them should be grateful to you, Tom, and all the library trustees for their vision on this. It doesn't get much better than this."
An official open house ceremony will be held in the fall.