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wasthenrecognizedbythestatetwoyearslaterasaregularpubliclibrary.Thatoriginalbuildingcontainedonly1100squarefeetbutitservedthetownshipwellfor80years.Itssmallbudgetdidnotallowforafull-timelibrarianandthepatronssometimeshadtohuntdownthelibrarianduringthoseyearstoborrowthekeywhentheyneededtheloanofabook.TownspeoplewouldborrowthekeyndwhattheyneededatthelibraryandthenlockbackupwhentheyweredonesaysPeggy.Thatshardtoimaginebutthatshowthetownwouldusethelibrary.Wedidnthaveregularhours.Neverthelessthelibrarywaspartofthesmalltownsfabricaplacewhereonecouldquietlyexplorethewiderworldofbooksandalandmarkthatquietlyemphasizedasmalltownscivicpride.Itwasntuntil2003thatMaltaresidentDelSandburgactedonanideathathedhadforsometimetoapproachtheownerofthelotadjacenttolibraryandaskifhedbewillingtosellit.IsawthegentlemanwhoownedthepropertylookingatitonedayremembersDel.TherewasahouseonthelotandIthinkhehadinmindxingitupandsellingit.IknewthathousewouldbedifculttosellandIalsoknewthatthelotwastheonlywaythelibrarycouldgetlarger.SoIaskedhimifhedbeinterestedinsellingthelottothelibrary.AfterreceivingaverbalcommitmentfromtheownerthathedbewillingtosellthepropertyDelwenttothelibraryboardandaskedthemiftheydbeinterestedinpurchasingtheproperty.Theysaidofcoursebutthattheydidnthaveanymoney.ThatwasaprettyreasonableresponseDellaughs.UndauntedDelcontinuedtopiecetogetherthepuzzlethathadstartedtakingshapeinhismindandwhichnowhadthesupportofanadhocbuildingcommitteemadeupofotherMaltacitizens.TherstthinghedidwasapproachRichardKatzwhoserootsrundeepintheMaltacommunityforadvice.Richarddidmorethanofferadvice.HemadeasizabledonationtogetusstartedsaysDel.Iwasthenabletoaskforsupportfromafewotherfolksandwithinthreeorfourweekswehadenoughmoneytobuythehouse.AtthatpointtheprojectofaddinganewwingtotheMaltalibrarytookonthecharacterofaslow-motionbarnraisingthatstretchedoverseveralyears.BobKylerthelocalexcavatorvolunteeredtoteardowntheoldhouseonthelotandhaulitawayatnocost.AtthatpointsaysDelwehadanemptylotandpeoplewhohadinvestedtimemoneyandinterestsowedecidedthatitwastimetodomorethanjustbuyalot.Wewerereadytodosomethingwithit.OnceagainDelwentbeforethelibraryboard.TheywerealittlereticentaboutgoingintodebtsaysDelbutIthoughtthecommunitywouldsupporttheideaofanewwing.Inanactoffaiththebuildingcommitteehadplansdrawnupandbeganacceptingin-kinddonationsofbuildingmaterialsandcommitmentstohelpwithtaskslikecarpetlayingandpainting.ThemoneyDelknewwouldcome.Andcomeitdidultimatelytothetuneofover650000.Weborrowedabout325000ofthatamountsaysDelbuttherestofitcamefromvolunteerworkandoutrightdonations.ThepeoplefromtheareaaroundMaltawerethemajorsourceofsupport.Delgesturestowardabeautifullycraftedmemorialintheshapeoftreethatisbuiltintoawallneartheentranceofthelibrary.Eachleafonthetreehasthenameofadonorinscribedonit.ImadethistothankallofthepeoplewhodonatedtotheprojectsaysDel.YoullCOMMUNITY10