wplf logobuilding for the future

Service Points

What do we stand to gain by completing the proposed expansion and renovation of the Wolfeboro Public Library?

Provide an enlarged and separate children’s room including a restroom.

The children’s room is currently too small and is located in the middle of one large room that it shares with the adult and circulation sections of the library. The new space will allow children to be reasonably noisy, which currently is a problem as they play with the puppet theater, the kitchenette or other toys. The new space will be safer for children as it will not have two exits adjacent to the area, adults will not be working at study carrels in the children’s area, adults will not be walking continuously through the area to reach the rear corridor, materials for adults will not be shelved in the children’s area, and parents will be able to keep an eye on their children as they use the restroom located within the children’s space and not in a corridor at the back of the building by an exit. There will also be an area for the children’s librarian to store craft supplies and other materials used in children’s programming, which are currently located in the director’s office, the closet in the meeting room, under the children’s librarian’s desk, and in an aisle on the floor in the video storage room.

Create spaces that students and others seeking quiet can use.

Our number one complaint is that there is no separate quiet space in the library. This problem is due to the fact that we have one large public space with children playing, staff helping library users, and members of the public interacting with others they meet in the library. We have students and business people who are taking online classes, studying, or working on a project and there is nowhere in the library they can go that is truly quiet. The plan is to create a quiet study room and also utilize a meeting room, when it is not being used by a group, as a quiet study area. This will help us help those who need quiet space to concentrate.

Use current and prepare for technologies of the future.

While the library has expanded and upgraded our existing technology infrastructure over the last five years there is more to do. The new meeting rooms should have more advanced technological and media capabilities which can be used by clubs, organizations, and businesses, as well as by the library itself. The ability to be compatible with the widely available range of devices that people bring to our facility should be even further developed in the new facility. It is important to provide additional access throughout the existing and expanded spaces. As technology changes and advances, the building should be flexible enough to change and expand in all necessary ways, from wired to wireless, to ways we can barely imagine in 2016.

Provide meeting spaces for groups from 2 to 125 people.

The library receives frequent requests for a small, private meeting space where a police officer or family services person or an attorney can meet with members of the public. Additionally we are seeking to add a slightly larger meeting room than we currently have and a space that would seat up to 25. Our one current meeting room officially seats 113 but the space becomes uncomfortable with more than 70 chairs set up. The medium sized meeting space will be used as quiet study, for workshops, book discussions, and for smaller sized meetings. The large and medium sized rooms would be available after hours. There will be a small kitchenette available as well. All meeting space would be available for library presented programming and for the general public. We now regularly use the Great Hall for larger events. It has helped the library be able to fully promote programming that in the past we had to limit access to, but there is still demand to provide smaller spaces for library use, town committee use, and for members of the public to use.

Provide access to local history, genealogy, and other special collections the library houses.

The library is fortunate to have historical materials including a small collection of leather bound books from the original Social Library (the library before there was a public library incorporated in 1900) and the Bowers Post Card Collection which contain 16,000 historical NH post cards. These collections are not currently located in easily accessible locations and are not indexed, cataloged or otherwise made accessible by subject or category. This space would allow us to provide access and a proper place to store, in one room, all historical collections. Currently historical materials are in boxes, cupboards, and on office shelves in three different rooms as there is no one place to store, let alone provide access to these items.

Provide staff and volunteers with dedicated workspace.

Currently all staff members do not have a specific place to work on projects. There are few places in the building where a project can be left partially completed. Most work stations are used by multiple people over the course of a week or day. This problem is worse for the volunteers who have no dedicated space they can utilize. One volunteer told us she was quitting because she found it so frustrating to have to move to a different location or perch next to a crowded counter when she worked on her project. All of our spaces are used for multiple purposes, but for some projects this creates delays and frustration. In the new space we are creating a dedicated work space for working on technology and a dedicated space for volunteers to use as well as additional, ergonomic workstations for staff.

Creating space for the library to store equipment, furniture, and supplies means enhanced and new services.

The library lacks storage space with only two small closets and one room designed specifically for storage. There is little space to store computer equipment, other equipment, library materials, archival materials, office supplies, library material supplies, janitorial supplies and various records we are required to retain. Items are stored throughout the staff spaces on floors, in filing cabinets, in boxes under counters and desks, on available shelves and in a container the library rents adjacent to the parking lot. Unfortunately items in the storage container are being damaged by the conditions in the container of extreme hot in the summer and cold in the winter. And finally, we currently have to discard books, audios and DVDs when we add new ones as there is little room left to expand or store popular collections.

Modern technology + flexible social spaces = adaptability 

The expanded and renovated library will include the ability to change the functions of any space, or change the size of a space, as change in the needs of the community occurs. Libraries have always dealt with the changing needs of their clientele and the future will be no different. The new facility will allow us to be much more flexible about solutions to the changing way services are provided and used. Many people come to the library for play dates, to take online classes, to run an online business, or to socialize. They stay for long periods of time, sometimes most of the day. There are currently fewer seats in the library than there were when the facility opened in 1979. This is a major problem and the library needs to provide more comfortable and varied seating options to library visitors.

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