Friday, January 31, 2014

Weathersfield Proctor Library Hosts Expansion Information Open House

Architect Drawing of Building and Parking Lot
Monday February 3, 2014 at 6:30 pm The Trustees of the Weathersfield Proctor Library will be hosting an Open House. Weathersfield residents are encouraged to come and visit the Library with their questions about the proposed expansion and the $1.3 million bond vote (less grants and other funding resources) that will come before the town voters on March 4th, Town Meeting Day. The expansion will provide to the Town a library prepared for the changes facing the community, a resource for the future!

The Weathersfield Proctor Library is a small red brick building located on Route 5 in Ascutney, Vermont. Dedicated in 1903, it was the gift of Benjamin Franklin Blood in memory of his mother, Roxalana Proctor Blood.

The Proctor Library has 856 square feet of public space. The unfinished basement is used to store overflow books, to process incoming materials, to mend materials, to store books for the library book sale, to store supplies and store all programming materials and records. The basement also houses the furnace and the bathroom.

What will the expanded space offer?
The library's plan includes:
  • doubling the size of the existing library allowing for collection growth as well as thoughtful reconfiguration
  • preservation of historic architectural elements
  • fun, engaging and inviting new children's space
  • better accessibility to the library and all collections
  • space for additional computers and access to new technologies
  • increase in seating options
  • two public restrooms
  • larger and more efficient staff work spaces
  • Vermont and local Weathersfield history room
  • after-hours access to large group community meeting room and programs
  • space for quiet study, study with a tutor, or group study and online learning
At Town Meeting the voters will be asked to pass a $1.3 million bond,  less grants and other funding resources, to fund this expansion. The average cost to each taxpayer on a 20 year tax exempt bond from the Vermont Municipal Bond Bank at 3.832% (rate quoted on 12/18/13) would increase the municipal taxes on a $200,000 home by $64 a year (less than the purchase of two hardcover books and a little more than one month of internet service.)

For over one hundred years the footprint of this building has remained the same while the Town around it has grown considerably. 
Circulation statistics have risen every year in the past ten years. In 2013 circulation rose 16% and 110 new library cards were given out in 2013. But despite our efforts to take advantage of every inch, we don't have enough room to accommodate all of the activities that take place under our roof. Not only are we running out of space for our collections (many books are being stored in the basement), but we also lack the space we need for programs, meetings, and the increased demand for public access to the Internet. As we study state and regional trends in library use, we can identify many services we would like to offer, if only we had the capacity.

"The population of Weathersfield in 1902 when the library was built was 1089. Proctor Library is simply too small to serve the 2862 citizens of Weathersfield as well as they deserve."

Bring your questions to the Open House Monday night. Get a tour of the current Library space and view the plans for the proposed expansion. Refreshments will be served. T-shirts supporting the Library will be available for purchase!

More information maybe found at: WPL Expansion or at the Library's website: Weathersfield Proctor Library or by calling 802-674-2863.