The Vineyard Haven Public Library Board of Library Trustees has engaged an architect to prepare design(s) and budget estimate(s) for the construction of an addition to the library building at 200 Main Street, in order to build a multi-purpose meeting room for classes, lectures, films, entertainers, literary and other cultural programs for all ages.
In a 2008 survey, 44% of respondents reported that they attended library programs, vs. 56% on 2011 survey and 68% on the 2015 survey. Since 2008, the number of Adult and Young Adult library programs has more than doubled, and attendance has nearly quadrupled (395% increase, 3,872 in FY17 vs. 979 in FY07).
Community Forums during the Library’s long range planning process identified space constraints as an impediment to desired community programming. Recent survey results showed that the existing library meeting room received the lowest satisfaction rating of library services and facilities: 28% rated meeting rooms as “Fair” or “Needing Improvement”.
Based on these usage trends, review of survey feedback, and the significance of programming to the library’s strategic goals, the Board of Library Trustees voted in September, 2016 to pursue funding from the town for the design of an addition to the building to house a multipurpose meeting room, and funding for the design work was approved at Tisbury's Town Meeting in April, 2017.
BUILDING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION COMMITTEE
In December, 2017, the Library Board of Trustees appointed a Library Building Design and Construction Committee, charged with producing requirements for the proposed addition, selecting an architect, and reviewing designs. Committee members were appointed by the Library Trustees, with input from the Tisbury Board of Selectmen.
The nine member committee is made up of community members with experience in building projects, representatives of the Friends of the Library, Library Trustees, and the Library Director. Meetings of the Committee are subject to Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, and meeting notices are posted in advance on the Library’s event calendar, Town of Tisbury Website, and at Tisbury Town Hall.
Paul Munafo, Chair
Andrew Flake, Vice Chair
Hal Garneau, Secretary
Ian Aitchison (Library Trustees)
Johanna Kobran (Friends of the Library)
Jim Norton (Library Trustees)
Sandy Pratt, Chair of Library Trustees (Ex-officio)
Ben Robinson (Tisbury Planning Board)
Amy Ryan, Library Director (Ex-officio)
In January 2019 the design team and the Commitee began the programming and conceptual design phase of the project, and completed a site survey, documentation and analysis of existing conditions, and building systems assessment.
On February 7th 2019, the Tisbury Vision Forum hosted a Community Meeting with the design team, to learn how the community envisioned the new space, and how they would like the meeting room to look and feel, using a 'wish list' and a character study process to understand community preferences.
Conceptual design work continued through fourteen schemes based on four proposed site plans. Draft cost estimates were produced based on three site plans, and in May 2019 a site plan was recommended to the Board of Library Trustees and approved at the May 22nd, 2019 joint meeting of the Board and Committee.
On June 3rd 2019, the Committee hosted a 2nd Community Meeting to provide an overview of the conceptual design phase, present the site plan to serve as the basis for schematic design, and offer a "menu" of other potential building improvements.
The Town approved funding of $40,000 for design services at the April 2017 Town Meeting. The Library Trustees are planning a Capital Campaign to raise remaining funds needed for the project privately. The Vineyard Haven Library Building Fund Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has been formed to assist with fundraising.
What is the "Shakespeare Garden" that has been discussed at recent meetings?
Prior to the last library renovation in 2000, a feature of the library's landscaping was a "Shakespeare Garden" dedicated to Margaret Webster, American-British theater actress, producer and director. The garden was laid out in an oval roughly 20’ in diameter, planted with herbs and flowers mentioned in Shakespeare’s works. The centerpiece of the Shakespeare garden was a bronze statue by Priscilla Pattison, given by Ms. Webster in memory of her partner Jane Brundred.
In 2000, a Landscaping Committee was appointed to create a new plan for the library grounds, which did not include a Shakespeare Garden, although the statue remains in place in the library courtyard. The library would like to honor Margaret Webster’s memory in a permanent and sustainable way, through landscaping and/or interior features, and this will be an element of the plan for the proposed addition. Several ideas have been put forward already, and we look forward to hearing other creative ideas and solutions, both for memorializing Ms. Webster and for reworking the library's outdoor space.
Will this project include other enhancements or repairs to the building?
The current project is not anticipated to be a comprehensive renovation. However, the Town of Tisbury's Facilities Department has recently completed a building assessment identifying current and projected maintenance issues, and the Library Trustees will be working with the Facilities Department and Library Building Design and Construction Committee to determine what projects may be completed in conjunction with the proposed addition, and to produce a master plan to address ongoing building maintenance.
Doesn't the Library already have a meeting room?
Education and lifelong learning are top priorities for our community, as is reflected in the library’s strategic goals. The library currently holds 7 to 10 free public programs each week for all ages, with several thousand people attending annually. The library’s current Activity Room lacks characteristics appropriate for community programming, and program attendance regularly exceeds the capacity of this room.
How can I stay informed and involved?
The Library will be seeking community input as this project develops. This web page will be updated as we receive new information. To recieve email announcements, including invitations to upcoming community forums, contact the Library Director ([email protected]).
To sign up for the library's weekly program updates, enter your email address in the form below.