As of June 18, 2014 there are 549 library cardholders. There are many more people who use library services, but who do not have a library card. They use the WiFi (both inside the library and outside the library in the parking lot), public computers, historical documents, genealogy databases, fax machine and copy machine and reference services. Folks from Weathersfield and surrounding towns also attend many programs offered at the library.
How many items have been checked out over the past year?
The Weathersfield Proctor Library is open to the public 24 hours per week.
Between July 1, 2013 and June 18, 2014 a total of 8,984 items were checked out of the library. This number has been increasing steadily:
2013-2013 = 7,871 items checked out
2011-2012 = 6,916 items checked out
Is the lot size large enough to accommodate the proposed expansion?
Yes. If you look at the rear of the building you will see a new temporary parking lot. This space will accommodate the proposed building expansion and a walkway that goes around the side of the building to a fire exit. The parking lot will be built on land that the library has a license (from Ascutney House) to use.
How many square feet is the proposed library expansion?
The outside wall will measure 4,287 square feet. The inside of wall (usable space) will measure 3,892 square feet.
The existing building measures: outside wall 2,160 square feet, inside of wall 1,730 square feet (only 865 square feet of usable public space, the basement cannot be used for public space because of fire codes)
Why is the proposed "meeting room" so large?
The meeting room is actually the library community meeting room. This room will be used for library programs and will be available for community groups to use - both when the library is open and after hours.
Why does the library need more space?
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.
We need to grow due to:
- increased demand, a greater variety of resources and service, and the advent of electronic technology
- insufficient space for books, magazines, reference materials, AV resources, computer space - many items are stored in the unfinished basement where we run a dehumidifier to keep items from getting moldy
- limited public seating for programs
- certain parts not accessible to people who are physically challenged
- restroom down steep stairs, not accessible and not available without permission
- significant workflow, safety, and security problems
- accessibility ramp is in Route 5 right-of-way
- building does not have a second exit, and there is no second exit in basement
- limited parking - the side parking lot is not owned by the library, the owners let us use 1/2 of the lot
- currently the library meets the VT Dept of Libraries Minimum Standards for 1998 - but only because we have a future plan in place to meet ADA requirements.
- many grants and programs are unavailable to us because we do not meet Federal ADA requirements
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
Do people use libraries anymore?Yes! The library's circulation statistics (the number of items checked out) has steadily increased over the past 10 years. In FY2013 the library's circulation increased 16% over FY2012. More people are using libraries than ever.
But people use libraries now for much more than just checking out materials. Seniors and others come to computer tutor classes, people come to do genealogy research using our local database of Weathersfield ancestors, children come for early literacy programs, the summer reading program, and for homework help. Job seekers and unemployed folks use the computers to apply for jobs and file unemployment claims.
People come to learn about the night sky, learn how to download library eBooks, get up-to-date information at informational health programs like "Lyme Disease, What is it and How to Prevent and Treat It" and attend a community movie night. The numbers of adults and children attending library programs is so large for some programs that we have had to move the program off site, move the program outdoors, or limit the number of people who can attend.
Why can't we use another building in town for the library?
1.) The Library Board of Trustees engaged in fact finding in 2000 to see if other available buildings in town could be used as a public library. They looked at the 1879 schoolhouse in Perkinsville and the Ascutney House Restaurant building and found the expense to renovate and retrofit existing buildings would be higher than the $1.3 million cost estimate of the expansion project. Public libraries have unique structural requirements due to the weight of the books which effects the design of foundations, walls and floors (A normal double-faced book-stack 3 ft long x 90" tall and 20" deep weighs about 2,320 lbs fully loaded. Paper alone weighs 56 lbs per sq ft.) Libraries are a public building and must meet Federal ADA requirements and fire codes for public buildings.
2.) The Proctor Library deed states that the building must only be used as a public library and if the building is not being used as a public library, ownership will revert to the heirs of Benjamin Blood, the donor of the building.
What will be the average cost to each taxpayer?
Cost per square foot: projected at $209.00. Cost on a $200,000 property: $52.00 per year.
What does the proposed bond article look like?
Shall the general obligation bonds of the Town of Weathersfield, Vermont in an amount not to exceed ONE MILLION, ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS ($1,100,000), less any grants or other funding sources, be issued for the purpose of financing the cost of making certain public improvements at the Weathersfield Proctor Library, including constructing an addition onto the existing library building, such improvements estimated at a cost of One Million, One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,100,000).