Library Approaches Fund-Raising Goal
West Tisbury Children’s librarian Nelia Decker.
Engraved bricks, literary speakeasies and musical summer evenings have all added up, and the West Tisbury Library Foundation passed the $1 million mark last week in its fund-raising campaign for a new library.
Two months out from a Jan. 31 deadline, the foundation is nearing its $1.5 million goal.
And library trustee Dan Waters credited others for the success.
“We’re a tight-knit team, there are a lot of us but we’re all working together,” said Mr. Waters this week. “It’s really about having a library shaped and modeled around the behavior and lifestyle of the people in West Tisbury. We want it to feel like home, as though the library is the community’s living room . . . it needs to fit like a well-made shoe,” he said.
Fund-raising events have delved in a variety of pockets in the Island community, Mr. Waters said, including an apple festival in October for children and families, a summer music series for Island musicians, an art show at the Shaw Cramer Gallery in Vineyard Haven, and the ongoing speakeasy series at State Road Restaurant in West Tisbury, which this week featured author Tony Horwitz. The series concludes in January with Fanny Howe and Jessica Tseng.
In July the town received a $3 million grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners to put toward the $6 million project. At the annual town meeting in April, voters will be asked to spend $1.5 million on the project.
The foundation will make up the remainder.
The planned project will expand the existing library from 5,600 to 13,000 square feet. Mr. Waters said the new size will meet the future needs.
“It’s been too small from the day it opened,” he said. “The size of library we are expanding to right now was determined by the number of people that use it.”
A study done in 2004 called for a 22,000-square-foot facility.
Library director Beth Kramer said the design team plans a small reduction in size.
“What the state asks us to do is look 20 years to the future,” she said. “It’s really not that big compared to how we’re used now and how we anticipate being used in future.”
The new design includes added bathrooms, private meeting space, offices and a young adult room.
“It’s not the maximum amount we could need,” she added.
If all goes according to plan, construction on the new library will begin in the fall of 2012, with a completion date targeted for 12 to 14 months later.
The library will be housed in some kind of temporary facility during construction, Ms. Kramer said, likely trailers situated near the town hall.
“During that period it’s a different life but when we open the new building I hope we’ll embrace the vision we’ve been working toward. It’ll be bumpy, but it’ll be fun,” she said.