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Public libraries are all about recycling -- how better to conserve resources than to circulate the same books among multiple readers? Now Burlington's Fletcher Free Library is applying that principle to its physical infrastructure. On Monday, when workers demolished the 25-year-old, pre-computer-era circulation desk, they saved its solid oak components for use in a new desk. When that one is unveiled next month, it will not only be ergonomically engineered, but will improve access for children and people using wheelchairs. The desk will also have a third check-out station and a snazzy countertop of Vermont green marble.

The $100,000 project, which comes on the heels of a $35,000 facelift for the men's restroom, is part of the final phase of a $612,500 grant from the Freeman Foundation. Still to come: makeovers for the reference and children's services desks; consolidated shelving for CDs, DVDs and videos; and lots of new furniture. The whole deal should be complete by the end of the year. Until then, expect a little noise.

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Ruth Horowitz

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