Public libraries are busier than ever. The Wolfeboro Public Library averages approximately 90,000 visits a year. In addition to borrowing books and other materials, people are using the library in a growing number of ways. Public computers and free wi-fi enable patrons to conduct business, take online courses, do genealogy and other research, connect with friends and family and more. The library has also become an important social gathering space for families with young children, senior citizens, tweens, teens and many local organizations. Hundreds of adults and children take advantage of the wide variety of free programs offered throughout the year.
Due to size and design constraints and the deteriorating condition of the building, we are currently unable to effectively meet the growing and diverse needs of our community.
To see the challenges the library faces, watch this slideshow.
No. After years of study and analysis, we believe the best solution to the building, space, and programming needs we have identified is a renovation and redesign of the existing building coupled with a modest expansion. Built in 1979, the library has served the community well. However, after forty years the roof is in dire need of replacement and must be brought up to current building codes. The heating system is outdated and unreliable. The building has no insulation. Staff and volunteers work in cramped quarters. There are no quiet study areas. More seating, meeting, and social spaces are needed to meet the demands of a new generation of library users. Reuse of the existing building and its materials is the greenest approach to redevelopment.
The proposed plan would create a separate, secure children's area. Meeting and activity space would be increased. Two quiet study rooms would be added. The failing flat roof will be replaced with a new hipped roof. The obsolete heating system will be replaced. Lighting, air quality and energy efficiency will be improved. Staff and storage areas will be expanded. Space will be created for important archival and historic materials while providing a dedicated space for genealogy research. Light-filled, comfortable seating areas will be created for socializing and independent reading.
For more detailed information on each of these improvements, read the Service Points from the project.
A positive vote at the March 2018 Town Meeting will launch the project. Construction drawings and related work will begin immediately and ground-breaking will occur in the fall. Project completion target is late 2019.
The proposed plan calls for a minimum of disruption. Library operations will continue in the existing building while the addition is under construction. Once the addition is complete, operations will temporarily relocate to the new space so that renovations can be completed in the existing building. Most library services will continue but some may be reduced. During roof replacement, the library will close for a week or two. Library staff plans to bring more library services to alternative spaces in the community to lessen any temporary negative impacts of the renovation.
Professional construction estimates set the total project price at approximately $5 million dollars. A public/private partnership is proposed to share the cost with taxpayers. The Wolfeboro Library Foundation is the entity created to serve as the private fundraising component of this partnership.
The process is consistent with the approach used in securing private donations for the Wolfeboro Town Hall Renovation and the construction of a new Abenaki Ski Area Lodge. These two projects have set a very solid precedent for the Library project to be partly supported by private pledging. The Wolfeboro Library Foundation is confident that the public/private model will work best for this project.
Please call Library Director Cindy Scott at 569- 2428 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can schedule a personal tour of the library to learn more about the building conditions.