Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we even need a library? Everything is online?
A 21st century public library is more than just books. It is a community gathering space for discussions, innovative learning, creative environments, new technology, community groups, business resources, and a place to preserve history. The library has taken a balanced approach to offering new technology such as e-books, online access to legal forms and magazines, while continuing to maintain traditional library services such as books, audiobooks, movies, and music.
Is the library moving?
No. The library plans to expand and renovate in its current Main St. location. Furthermore, the community has authorized the purchase of an adjoining property to provide additional municipal and library parking.
Does the Select Board support the library project?
In September 2018, the Meredith Select Board and the Library Trustees issued a joint press release in support of the library project. The press release made it clear that the Meredith Select Board and the Library Trustees agree that the library will stay in its current location on Main St. and that the expansion and renovation project is necessary to meet current and future needs of Meredith residents.
Will the library’s budget increase because it is bigger?
The library’s budget for heating, cooling, lighting, and custodial services will likely increase, although probably not in direct proportion to the increase in space, and savings will be sought through efficiency. Much of the historic building’s original exterior walls will be enveloped by energy efficient construction incorporating both efficiency and sustainability, and the library will work with the town Energy Committee to implement smart design justified by realistic payback options.
Why can’t we just combine the public library with the school library?
School libraries cannot replace public libraries. School libraries have a very specific purpose, serve a limited segment of the community, and limit access to school hours and days. In contrast, the public library has a broad purpose, is open to all members of the community, is centrally located in the middle of town, and has weekend, day, and evening hours year-round. Furthermore, the collection in a school library tends toward non-fiction for school curricula purposes, while the public library offers a wider variety of collections in many formats, as well as assistance with research, and the ability to access materials from other NH libraries.
Why do we need more meeting rooms? We have the community center.
The community center does host a large number of public and private meetings in their 3 meeting rooms; however, they are near capacity in the evenings and have only limited availability. Furthermore, programs involving library staff are challenging, as they require the staff to travel to an off-site location and to bring the supplies and equipment needed, which can be substantial. And some programs simply cannot be held offsite, as they require the use of library computers.
Why do anything? The library is fine as it is.
The existing library simply cannot meet the needs of the community. The library has several safety issues and is not ADA compliant. Its space is severely limited and inefficient, limiting the size of its collection and requiring frequent culling in order to add new books. There is only one meeting room, limiting program options and capacity. There are no quiet study rooms for independent or group study. And there is a lack of parking, security, technology, and staff work space (there isn’t even a staff break room).
What will the library cost?
The estimate for the proposed conceptual design is approximately $4,500,000 based on a construction start date in 2020. Furthermore, the project will be overseen and managed by an owner’s project manager during the construction, protecting the taxpayers’ investment.
What will the library cost me in additional taxes?
While we wish we could tell you how the library expansion and renovation will affect taxes, at this time we are unable to do so. The cost will be determined by the bond amount, length, and interest rate. We hope that with our fundraising efforts – and hopefully, your financial support – that the annual cost per $100,000 of property value will be less than the cost of purchasing a hardcover copy of a current best-selling novel.
What is the timeline?
After overwhelming support at the March 2019 town meeting for the warrant article authorizing $400,000 in design funding, the Library Turstees have issued a Request for Qualifications to select an architect to develop the detailed plans for the construction and renovation. Upon completion of the detailed plans, funds for the construction and renovation phase will be requested in a warrant article at a town meeting, likely in 2020. If the warrant article is approved, construction is expected to be completed within a year, with an anticipated completion date in 2021. Public input will be a key part of the design process and the trustees will be updating the public regularly as the process moves forward.
Will the library remain open during construction?
The library will remain open during construction; however, upon completion of the construction, the library will need to close for two brief periods: first to move into the new expansion and then again to move back into the renovated, historic portion of the building.
Why do we need a capital campaign? It is a publicly funded building.
Although the town will issue a bond to fund the construction, the capital campaign will raise funds for the specific purpose of moderating the cost to Meredith taxpayers, while at the same time providing a significant philanthropic opportunity for people wishing to support the library. Recognition will be offered to donors and naming opportunities will be available at many levels, from the walkway bricks to the entire addition.
What is the fundraising goal?
The Meredith Library Fund has set a goal of raising $1,125,000 through tax deductible donations and grants.
What will happen if the capital campaign doesn’t reach its goal?
The mission of the Meredith Library Fund is to raise funds to defray the cost to taxpayers for expanding, renovating, and equipping the Meredith Public Library. If the Fund cannot raise its goal, whatever is raised will still go toward reducing the cost to Meredith taxpayers of the library project.
I don’t use the library. Why should I donate?
The library is an important asset that affects Meredith property values and the quality of life for residents. A modern library in the magnificent historic building adds to the economic and visual allure of our community.
Is my donation tax deductible?
Please click on the arrow to the right of each question for the answer.
Contributions can be made payable to the “MEREDITH LIBRARY FUND” and mailed to PO Box 601, Meredith, NH 03253, or via credit card on our website at meredithlibraryfund.org. In addition to cash donations and pledges, the Meredith library Fund welcomes transfers of stocks and bonds as well as matching donations from employers. To discuss these donation opportunities, please contact the Meredith Library Fund here. Businesses are also encouraged to contact the Library Director or the Library Trustees to discuss opportunities for in-kind donations of their services or supplies. Possible in-kind services might include the trades, materials, furnishings, or landscaping.
Many opportunities beyond monetary donations exist to support this important project. Your energy, ideas, and enthusiasm are needed to plan events and to spread the word to your friends and neighbors about the library project. Volunteers will be needed for the capital campaign beyond those who ask, including grant writers or design and construction expertise on the building committee. Please volunteer at whatever level or commitment you can offer and it will be appreciated.
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