GOLCAR Library opened a new chapter in its history yesterday with the unveiling of a £100,000 refurbishment.
Crowds of VIPs and book fans packed into the Town End reading room to look at the improvements for themselves.
Among them was guest of honour Gwynne Whitwam - who ran the library virtually single-handed for 33 years.
"It's wonderful," exclaimed the 84-year-old.
"It's a lot better. I just can't picture how the place used to be at all."
The event brought back memories of life in the village 56 years ago when she started work at the library.
The library has more than doubled in size in the massive revamp and features extra titles, four computers and improved disabled access. The work is part of a programme of upgrades throughout Kirklees' libraries.
Gwynne started working at the library, built in a former jewellers shop, in 1947.
She recalled the generosity of families from the area who looked after her.
"One family used to bring me tea and biscuits on a Saturday because they felt sorry for me that I was having to work," she explained. And another caring family regularly invited her for tea during the week when the library closed between the afternoon and evening.
The current librarian, Marilyn Briggs, was also present for yesterday's official opening. She has worked at the library for 21 years.
Clr John Smithson, cabinet member with responsibility for education and recreation, told the assembled crowd that 88 new borrowers have already joined up, attracted by the extra titles and banks of computers.
* Mobile libraries are back on the road after thieves struck.
A gang attacked five of Kirklees' seven-strong fleet to take the libraries' reversing cameras last week.
They cost up to £1,500 to replace. Without them, the vehicle cannot be driven.
Security at the mobile library vehicles' overnight compound in Red Doles, Bradley Mills, is being stepped up.