Phyllis Rickard, director of the North Adams Com­munity Memorial Library, held an open house on Tuesday to kick off the library’s extended hours. Nicole Ault | Col­legian

Bal­loons, cookies, and a cheerful librarian greeted vis­itors at the North Adams Com­munity Memorial Library on Tuesday — the first time in years that the library has been open on a Tuesday. The cel­e­bration marked the start of a new schedule for the library, which is now extending its hours from 20 to 30 per week.

The extended hours are a pos­si­bility thanks to addi­tional income from taxes, said Phyllis Rickard, the library’s director. Funded only by state aid, penal fines, and dona­tions, the library had to cut hours several years ago, Rickard said. So Rickard kicked off a millage cam­paign last summer, asking cit­izens to vote to allow the library — which pro­vides ser­vices to North Adams Village and Township, Moscow Township, and part of Wheatland Township — to receive tax funding for 10 years. The ballot passed in an election on August 2.

Rickard said the extended hours will make it easier for people who work during the day to get to the library.

“I know we have patrons who cannot get in by 5 p.m. because of their work sit­u­a­tions,” Rickard said, noting that the library will now be open until 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Rickard said the library has also been able to augment its book col­lection, start automating the checkout process, and add database resources with the new funding. At no extra cost, patrons can now access data­bases that offer lan­guage lessons, family history, audio­books and ebooks, comics, and mag­a­zines.

Jackie Sutton, the vice pres­ident of the library board, said the new resources and funding are signs of a new, better era for the library since Rickard took over exactly five years ago. Before then, she said, the library was dis­or­ga­nized and running on an $8,000 annual budget. But Rickard came in, orga­nized mate­rials, brought in more dona­tions, and suc­cess­fully cam­paigned for tax­payer funding.

“She’s a miracle worker,” Sutton said.

Rickard was eager to point out the expensive shelving, front desk, and dozens of books that had been donated to the library in the past few years. She said it’s important to her to invest so much time in building up the library.

“A library is the most valuable resource a com­munity has,” she said. “You can get the infor­mation that you need and learn any­thing you want to learn.”