We submitted our final report on the Planning and Design grant to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. Along with this report we submitted the various studies, drawings, and plans that were created through the grant. We also submitted a Letter of Intent to apply for the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program grant. Our Letter of Intent was accepted. At a workshop to review the application process, we learned that 34 other communities in Massachusetts have submitted Letters of Intent.
July and August were quiet months while we prepared the final plans and reports required to close out the Planning and Design grant phase of the project. We’ll submit these to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. Next, we’ll begin writing the construction grant that Town Meeting authorized us to apply for. The grant is due in January 2017, and we expect to hear the status in July 2017. In the meantime, the Library Building Study Committee has scheduled a meeting for September 13th to review what still needs to be done for the construction grant application.
The Kingston Public Library Foundation has been working on plans for a capital campaign to help raise some of the funds that will be needed to match the construction grant. There will be a kick-off event on April 7th. Stay tuned for details!
We presented the proposal to Town Meeting on June 21st. Town Meeting members asked questions, which we found very useful, and voted to proceed with applying for a construction grant. The grant is due at the end of January 2017.
If the application is approved, Kingston’s project will be placed on a prioritized list, since an expected 35 other municipalities in Massachusetts will also be applying for this competitive grant. Kingston’s place on the list will determine when Kingston voters will be asked at a special Town Meeting and a town-wide ballot vote to approve local funding. The vote could come in 2017, but it’s more likely to be 2018 or later.
The Kingston Public Library Foundation is launching a capital campaign to raise funds to help pay for the project.
The Library Building Study Committee has hired a building consultant and is beginning to work on writing the Building Program that will be the basis for the design proposal. We’ll be visiting libraries in the area for ideas about what works and what doesn’t work so well, so we can incorporate the best ideas and avoid some pitfalls. We’re also looking at ideas from libraries across Massachusetts and in other parts of the country.
We are also collaborating with an Ad Hoc Library Strategic Planning Committee to gather ideas from the community from which we will develop our next 5-year strategic plan. The strategic plan will be very useful to us as we write the Building Program. There will be two Community Forums, the first on Tuesday, October 28th from 6 to 8 pm and the second on Saturday, November 22nd from 2 to 4 pm. You are warmly invited to attend one of these forums to share your thoughts for the future direction of Kingston and the Kingston Public Library. Register here for the October 28th forum or here for November 22.
Library Director Sia Stewart and Trustee Vanessa Verkade will attend a national Library Design Institute in Boston on December 5th, hosted by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. This will be a day of design presentations and working sessions with experienced library architects. Our library has been submitted as one of the challenge projects for groups to work on.