Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How can you leave our beautiful historic library building?
A: The current library building opened in 1901, a parking lot was added in the 1960's and the building was expanded in the late 1980's. The expansion created seven split levels, making the library building inaccessible to many users with disabilities and difficult for families with young children.
The Children's Room, which was put in the attic of the historic building during renovation, is in violation of life-safety codes put into effect in 2010.
The parking lot with six spaces plus one handicap space was probably good enough in the 1960's when most families had one car and many users walked to the library, but today most of our users drive to the building, and downtown does not have enough parking available.
The trustees feel that the community has outgrown the historic library structure.
The trustees do not feel it's wise to spend $1.4 - 2 million to stay in in present location when we could move to a new location with less expenditure.
Q: Why can't you buy the Baptist Church and expand the library onto their property?
A: The library trustees first began talking about the Baptist Church property five years ago. The pastor of the church came to our public meeting on March 1, 2016 and said that the church will not sell until the members can raise the money needed to build on their new site, which may take another five to ten years. The trustees cannot wait this long.
Q: But doesn't the library bring people to Main Street and help support shops and restaurants?
A: The library sees on average 200-250 people daily in the winter and 300-400 daily in the summer. Most of these people come to the library and leave. The library staff and our patrons take up valuable parking spaces that could be used to access local businesses. On a new site the library will have its own dedicated parking and be close enough to the village for people to travel to Main Street to run their errands. We believe this will open up more parking space for merchants, the post office, and town hall.
Q: Why can't we just do nothing? That building has been there for 115 years with no problems.
A: Life-safety code violations cannot be ignored. The upper two floors of the historic building should not be occupied due to the lack of a legal second egress. We have been granted temporary usage with restrictions until the trustees come up with a permanent solution.
In addition, the staff deal daily with problems of accessibility and complaints about the lack of parking. If the library wishes to continue to be relevant and viable to the community, doing nothing to our building is not an option.
The safety of our patrons -- especially children -- will require moving those rooms to another location and would require more employees.
Q: Why don't you combine with the school library?
A: School libraries are designed to support the curriculum. Schools also become in loco parentis and so are responsible for the care of children while they are at the school. Parents are responsible for their children in a Public Library, a place where anyone, with any type of criminal record, is allowed to come and spend the day.
School and public libraries have very different missions. In addition, due to modern safety protocol, all non-students entering the school building must sign in and have an appointment. The open policy of the public library is no longer accordant with the visitor procedures adopted by the school.
Q: Do we even need a library anymore? Isn't everything on the internet?
A: Not everything is on the internet and not everyone wishes to access information that way (or can afford to do so). Print books are still our number one circulating item. E-book usage is starting to decline while print usage is starting to rise again nationwide.
The library provides services such as kindergarten readiness, educational enrichment for older children and teens, and gathering places for adults.
We assist the community with their technology problems. If we are open, we always answer our phone and provide prompt customer service. Face-to-face communication is still a desired resource in the community.
Concept drawing for proposed location (Robertson Property).