Planning Timeline

The Concord Free Public Library Corporation is dedicated to collaborating with all stakeholders – the Town of Concord, patrons, Library staff, community organizations and Concord-based educational institutions. This timeline reflects our work to date.

September 2011

  • Public visioning session held at CCHS to find out what patrons like about the Library now and what they want in the future

May 2013

  • Opportunity to purchase the Heywood-Benjamin House (directly next door to the Library)
  • Library Corporation made an offer with the support of Library Director and after meeting with and receiving encouragement from Town Manager as well as consulting on building codes and zoning with Building Commissioner and Director of Planning and Land Management

June 2013

  • Purchased Heywood-Benjamin House (no Town funds required)
  • Presentation at Library Committee meeting (6/12/13)

September 2013-May 2014

  • 9-month Task Force with representatives from Library Corporation, Friends of the Library, Library Committee, staff, patrons, and a wide variety of town groups to consider potential of expanded and enhanced services with additional space
  • Met with Town Manager and Town Treasurer to discuss financial assumptions, responsibilities, and potential timeline for additional space (2/12/14)

May-September 2014

  • Rented Heywood-Benjamin house (covers all Corporation costs; no Town costs)

October 2014-January 2015

  • Focus groups conducted by Library Director to gather input for long-range plan (see list)
  • Town Manager invited to Library Corporation meeting for an update (10/12/14)

February-December 2015

  • League of Women Voters presentation with Friends of the Library and Library Committee chairs (2/6/15)

January 2016-April 2016

  • Update at Library Committee meeting (2/23/16)

July-August 2016

  • Met with Select Board Chair to give an update (7/7/16)
  • Met with Town Manager and Town Treasurer to give an update; discussed timing for requesting Town funds for operational expenses (staff and utilities) (8/4/16)

September-December 2016

  • Attended Select Board meeting to provide update and share preliminary architectural concepts. Meeting open to the public. (9/26/16)
  • Joint meeting with Library Corporation, Friends Board, and Library Committee to engage all Library groups. Meeting open to the public (10/20/16)

February 2017

  • Met with Town Manager to give an update; reviewed timing for requesting Town funds for operational expenses (staff and utilities) (2/22/17)

November 2017

  • Met with League of Women Voters to discuss the project plans (11/3/17)

June 2017

  • Started paying real estate taxes during our fiscal year ending on 6/30/17

January 2018

  • Informal meeting with HDC to share preliminary plans (1/18//18)

March 2018

  • Invited neighbors to an event to learn more about the expansion project (03/28/18)
  • Hosted a Community Engagement event on children’s services (03/30/18)

April 2018

  • Public forum to learn about the project/updates (4/2/18)
  • Requested $150,000 for FY 2019 from Town as part of Capital Program’s Debt Authorization Plan (and plan to request $500,000 for FY 2020) to support energy efficient systems, furniture, fixtures, and equipment. (Town pays utilities but Corporation is committed to providing a sustainable energy system.)

May 2018

  • Presentation at Newbury Court to share a project update with residents (5/2/18)

June 2018

  • Hosted an event at Fowler to update public on the expansion plans (6/18/18)

September 2018

  • Submitted CPA Application (9/21/18)

October 2018

  • Brainstorming session at the Main Library with staff and public on new and exciting ways to use new spaces (10/2/18)
  • Updated the Commission on Disabilities on project plans and get input (10/11/18)
  • Second Public Forum to update the community on expansion plans (10/18/18)
  • Community Preservation Committee Project Presentation (10/23/18)

January 2019

  • Dedicated campaign website launched (
  • Meeting with contiguous neighbors with landscape architect (1/26/19)

February 2019

  • Update on project and campaign at Library Committee meeting (2/19/19)

March 2019

  • Third Public Forum to update community on expansion plans (3/6/19)
  • Fourth Public Forum to update community on expansion plans (3/20/19)
  • Attend Select Board meeting to discuss Town funding requests for project (3/18/19)

April 2019

  • Town vote for CPA funding and Town funds

September 2019

  • Design approved by Historic Districts Commission, Planning Board, and Zoning Board of Appeals

October/November 2019

  • Public Information Tables at Library and Local Businesses
  • League of Women Voters Update
  • Library Staff Project Update

Focus Groups

October 29, 2014  –  January 7, 2015

Representatives of the following groups and organizations participated in focus groups to discuss the future of the Library and help to inform the long-range plan:

  • Concord Band
  • The Umbrella
  • Minuteman Arc
  • Friends of the Performing Arts
  • Rotary Club
  • First Connections
  • Fenn School
  • Concord Recreation Department
  • Concord Academy
  • Concord Police Department (Safety Officer)
  • Concord Adult Education
  • Concord Middle School
  • Willard School
  • Thoreau School
  • Alcott School
  • CCHS Learning Commons Librarian
  • Youth Coordinator
  • Concord Carousel Preschool
  • Concord Children’s Center
  • Play and Learn Together
  • Town Manager
  • Fire Chief
  • Director of Concord Municipal Light Plant
  • Director of Planning and Land Management
  • Director of Public Works
  • Chief Information Officer
  • League of Women Voters
  • Library Committee
  • Friends of Concord Free Public Library
  • Library Corporation (Trustees)
  • Patrons

High school students

  • Council on Aging
  • Newbury Court
  • Orchard House
  • Concord Art Association
  • First Parish Church


February 2018

  • Tuesday, February 20, 2018 CFPL Neighbor Engagement (7:00 pm, Academy Lane)

March 2018

  • Wednesday, March 14, 2018 CFPL Staff Boot Camp #1 (2:30 pm, Trustees Room)
  • Wednesday, March 28, 2018 CFPL Staff Boot Camp #2 (10:00 am, Trustees Room)
  • Wednesday, March 28, 2018 CFPL Neighbor Engagement (7:00 pm, Trustees Room)
  • Friday, March 30, 2018 Kick-Off – Community Conversations and Coffee, Theme: Children’s Services (10:00 am, Children’s Space)

April 2018

  • Monday, April 2, 2018 CFPL Public Forum (led by Kerry Cronin) (5:30 pm, Trustees Room)

May 2018

  • Wednesday, May 2, 2018 Presentation at Newbury Court

June 2018

  • Monday, June 18, 2018 Library Supporter Information Session (4:00 pm, Community Room, Fowler)

October 2018

  • Tuesday, October 2, 2018 CFPL Bringing the Project to Life Brainstorming Session (9:00 am, Trustees Room)
  • Thursday, October 18, 2018 CFPL Fall Public Forum (6:00 pm, Concord Town House)

November 2018

  • Monday, November 26, 2018 CFPL Staff Boot Camp #3 (2:30 pm, Fowler Branch)

January 2019

  • Thursday, January 24, 2019 Project Introduction to the Milldames (1:00 PM, Fowler Branch)

In Progress

  • March 6 and March 20, Spring Public Forums (Main Library)


Additionally, the Library Corporation has met with the League of Women Voters (Fall 2017) and Commission on Disability (October 2018).  We also held an early Public Forum in September 2016 (at the Town House) and a Monument Street neighbor event (May 2017).