ADAMS -- The Free Library seems a lot bigger of late.
Users now have access to more than six million items in 155 libraries thanks to the library's membership in a regional sharing network known as Central/Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing (C/W MARS).
"It's a very unique system," Deborah Bruneau, director of the library, said Thursday. "It's even been lifted up as a national example, due to the diversity of its offerings."
Patrons can search titles from the library's online database and, using the code on their library cards, order books to pick up at the Adams Free Library. Orders can be placed from home and books take only a few days in transit.
"We've been fully on the system since the 26th of April without any hitches," Bruneau said. "We have some really smart cookies on our staff that have done an amazing job."
The $10,000, year-long membership was funded by a $6,000 contribution from the town, a $2,500 grant and $1,500 from the trustees state aid account.
Thirty thousand-plus items of the library's catalogue have been entered into the sharing system but Bruneau said more than 3,000 remain. Bruneau said "it can't be done without people."
Responding to this need, trustees recently called for the restoration of a formerly existing part-time position to add to the staff of five. This employee would assist in data-entry and allow for expansion of the library's Wednesday and Saturday hours, which are currently just 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. These hours cannot be added to without two employees to staff the building, Bruneau said.
"Those are our ludicrously short days," James Loughman, chair of the library trustees, said. "We'd like to bump hours up there."
The position, 19 hours a week and roughly $14,000 per year, was shot down by town officials and the Finance Committee during fiscal 2014 budget planning. The trustees were advised to make the same request in six months.
Trustees also said at their meeting Thursday that the library is one step closer to concrete renovation plans.
An email from Director of Community Development Donna Cesan read at the meeting, stated that Austin Design Inc, a company hired to assess the building architecturally, has completed their work and now seek to engineer improvement projects with fixed costs. Roof, entrance and facade work are needed, as town officials, trustees and others have previously stated.
Town officials hope to meet with engineers, Bruneau and several trustees within two weeks for an update.
In other business, Adams Historical Society hopes to use a $3,000 donation it received from the Beauchemin family, in memory of Jean Beauchemin, to create a local history display inside the library.
It would be located in the former reading room at the corner of the building closest to Park Street, containing a staircase.
"We have a huge photo collection and other things that date back to the eighteenth century," Eugene Michalenko, library trustee and member of the town Historical Commission said.
To reach Phil Demers, email