Mason-Dixon Public Library officials are fired up about the celebration they're having this weekend.
The library will hold its mortgage-burning celebration at 2 p.m. Saturday outside its facility at 350 Bailey Drive in Stewartstown.
"We're finished with that aspect of our financial commitment," said Carol Stampler, Mason-Dixon's librarian. "It's a great relief and great happiness for us. We're very, very excited."
The library's $1.5 million, 10,000-square-foot facility construction began in 2003 on donated land. The public began using the library in June 2004.
The mortgage, from People's Bank, was a little more than $719,900, said Janet McElwain, library treasurer and board member.
"It's just amazing, just wonderful to get this paid off so quickly," she said. "The mortgage was paid off in January, but we waited until this month for the mortgage burning because we opened in June 2004."
The library had raised money to cover the rest of the building cost through donations and pledges from individuals, businesses, state funds and fundraising projects, McElwain and Stampler said.
"The community always did support us," Stampler said. "We couldn't have done it without the community."
The history: Mason-Dixon Library was started in 1961 in Stewartstown by Ann Blevins and Dorothy Davis, who also served as librarian. The library's first home was in the basement of the old Calvary Methodist Protestant Church, Stampler said.
Several years later, the library moved to the former Barnes drug store building
on West Pennsylvania Avenue.
In 1965, the library moved to the former People's National Bank of Stewartstown building on North Main Street, remaining in the two-story, 2,200-square-foot facility until 2004.
Mason-Dixon joined the York County Library System in 1974.
Besides Shrewsbury, the library's service area includes Fawn Grove and Crossroads boroughs and East Hopewell, Fawn and Hopewell townships, Stampler said.
Since the library's move to its present site, the public's visits swelled from 8,500 to about 74,000 visits per year, according to McElwain.
"It's such a dramatic increase," Stampler said. "It just shows how important the library is to the community."