About 150 volunteers helped to restore Knight Memorial Library to its former grandeur last Saturday, February 27. The Clean-Up was held in preparation for a Gala event that Providence Community Library has scheduled for March 26 to raise funds for the nine neighborhood libraries of Providence.
Built in 1924, Knight Memorial Library has a monumental outside staircase, bronze doors, balconies lined wrought-iron railings, and even a replica of the famed Parthenon frieze on the upper parts of the walls in the main reading room. Thus, it was long an architectural jewel and a gem in the city’s library system. However, after years of neglect, the library has clearly needed a face-lift for some years now.
Among the volunteers helping spruce up the library was a large contingent of “City Year Young Heroes,” middle-school children from throughout the city who have adopted the library as one of their community projects. “We are delighted to have the City Year Young Heroes pitch in. It shows their recognition of the role that the library plays in the lives of young people both as a site of homework help and as a fun place to hang out, “ said Deborah Schimberg, the president of the Knight Memorial Friends.
Refurbishing was also aided by adult volunteers from the Knight Memorial Friends group and by library supporters across the city.