Dear Community Preservation Committee,
Responding to the CPC’s interest in how the library expansion project will serve multiple
or underserved populations, it is important to focus on the small daily activities that provide individual services to the community.
Our reference staff answers a question from a patron about a specific book or article; a young child responds to a book in the Children’s Room and discovers the joy of reading; a senior citizen attends a poetry reading or concert. Locals enjoy an art exhibit on the second floor gallery; a student researches an historical event in the Special Collections room.
The individual activities described above are replicated many times over during the course of a day. They go unnoticed, but not unappreciated by our patrons and their families. We are so much more than a book repository.
Of course, we are free and open to the public, offering movies, music, lectures, classes, poetry readings and more. And we share resources from libraries in the Minuteman Library Network, so we are, in essence, connected to almost anywhere a patron seeks information. At this poi nt, we have outgrown our space.
The expansion to include the adjacent property is a necessary part of the library’s long-term vision as a treasured resource for all ages, available to any cardholder.
We want to move the children ‘s services to the adjacent property on Mai n Street, using the second floor of the house for offices. This would enable us to use the current children ‘s room for community meeting space and programming and allow us to offer these services during regular library hours. ln the current space we are restricted to offering many of these programs during evening hours, when many patrons are unable to attend. The young adult section would be greatly expanded, and we plan a “maker’s space” so that ind ividuals or small groups can experiment and create the next big thing!
There are virtually no other public spaces where every member of the community can access information and/or entertainment for free. Our highly-trained staff works every day to provide resources to the oldest and youngest of us. They know the town and its residents.
Our plan to expand responds to the need for more services and programs. We do a lot, but we can do more if we weren ‘t outgrowing the space built in 1873. To be sure, we cherish our history, but at the same time, we are focused on the future.
Thank you so much for your consideration,
Anne lrza-Leggat. President, The Friends of the Concord Free Public Library