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Clinton Library opens its doors

"After years of fund raising and hard work, the honors of cutting the ribbon to the new Clinton Library went to two of the town's longest and most esteemed residents -- Eva Simmons and Elsie Olkonen.Their hands jointly grasping the scissors, the pair opened a new era -- the one in which Clinton residents no longer have to drive to Langley or Freeland to find a library.This wasn't Clinton's first library, however. Olkonen, a walking history book, recalled that in 1939 and 1940 the town had its own library in the Clinton Union Building, which is known today as the Dodge Building. The federal government paid the wages for the librarian, Olkonen recalled. That librarian, Alma Ronstad, eventually moved out of the area.But in recent decades, Clinton has been served by the Sno-Isle Regional Library bookmobile. Those days ended Saturday with the opening of the new 1,300 square foot library at Dan Porter Park.Olkonen pointed out that the library is part of the park, as it sits on park property the Clinton Progressive Club donated to Island County. It's really nice to have a library in the park, she said.As Olkonen was talking, the library was filled with well wishers and people anxious to get a look at the books and Internet-linked computers. Adults perused the shelves while kids from St. Peter's Lutheran Church, who helped make pillows for the library, staked out the children's room.There were no fancy speeches from community leaders. Just the people and the library. Friends of the Clinton Library will sponsor a more formal grand opening later this spring when finishing work is complete.But the thing to remember is that the libary is now open. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, and 3-6 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday. For more information call Linda Falken, Friends president, at 321-2655."

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