The Library’s ability to deliver services is hampered by facilities that are too small for the number of users and inadequate for the types and number of needs that must be addressed.
There are many urgent needs that support our mission to raise the $2.9 million needed for the repairs and expansion of the Library.
The Children’s Library is one of the most heavily used parts of the facility. Today, the space is simply insufficient for the number of users. Events such as the popular story hour fill the room, making access to the room impossible or awkward for those not attending it. The new floor plan enlarges the Children’s Library, allowing for expansion of the collection. An attached nook for story hours will facilitate multiple uses and make the entire children’s section more comfortable and attractive to found readers and their families.
Youth Area/Teen Library
At present, there is no area serving the needs of young adults. The new addition provides a section away from the Children’s Library where young adults can work on their projects in an area dedicated to their needs.
Today, the Library’s crammed condition discourages quiet work. There are few spaces that allow for concentration. The current design returns the Knight Reading Room to its original function, by moving collections to the stack areas. There will be more computer stations and better lighting.
The Library’s current configuration is grounded in its history and has at its core the historic building donated by Hiram Halle. At present, one of the most popular collections (mystery books) is housed in the basement, in an area poorly lit and inaccessible to the elderly and handicapped. By bringing those collections onto the mail floor of the Library, accessibility is improved and the preservation of the collections is assured.
Solving Infrasturcture Problems
In recent years, repairs to the old infrasture have been done repeatedly, usually with modest amounts of money, largely as stopgap measures. Throughout the facility, humidity and mold have been serious problems, even to the extent of endangering the Library’s holdings. Included in our plan are significant modifications to continue to improve the drainage and roofing systems, which would fix these issues.