Why We Need a New Library

The present 14,880 square foot building is in need of major repairs and renovations. The photos above are just the tip of the iceberg of building needs at the Seekonk Public Library. These structural issues underscore the need for a new building as do the programming space constraints the Library has been grappling with for years.

  • The building’s HVAC system is well beyond its years of expected use and has had to be patched together over the years to accommodate increased need
  • Because of the Library’s unstable foundation, the outside shingles have splintered, windows and doors have shifted leading to leaks and roof-based drainage problems
  • Lack of space to facilitate quiet conversations between staff and patrons
  • Crowded stacks and seating that make patron access to collections difficult
  • Not enough space for the Library’s 82,000 item collection to be available for browsing and borrowing
  • One meeting room/programming space with a legal limit of 100 people for the over 320 library programs offered yearly and the more than 200 community group meetings held–and we look forward to hosting these groups and programs again post-pandemic
  • A Children’s Room that does not accommodate story time or other children’s  programming
  • No Teen Space for collections or programming
  • No quiet or group study space
  • Lack of space to introduce new technology
  • The Library’s two restrooms are overused and do not meet the needs of parents and caregivers
  • The Library does not reflect standards for accessibility and does not provide the differently abled with the library experience they deserve

    What a new Seekonk Public Library means.

    Over six years ago, a group of dedicated community members–the Library Facilities Studies Committee–began working on a 20-year plan for the Seekonk Public Library.

    Their work resulted in a vision of a new Library. Together with Library staff, the Committee completed the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners capital grant application. In July 2017, the Library was informed that it would receive a $7.3M construction grant that would offset 30% of the total $24.5M construction cost.

    The pandemic has highlighted how important the Library is to our community. The Board of Library Trustees made the decision to keep the Library open as much as possible, institute curbside services, and develop innovative online programs. When we are post pandemic, and library operations normalize, we know the community will once again enjoy visiting and interacting with each other in the library space, and will welcome the opportunity to continue strengthening the bonds of this caring community.

    When the public approves the project (Town Meeting in May and a public vote following it), Seekonk’s new 23,000 square foot building, will meet the needs of Seekonk for years to come with HVAC, air filtering and air handling that will be COVID-19 informed as well as furniture, bookshelves and meeting rooms designed for easy access and movement.

    The new building will
    Provide adequate space for collections
    Connect people to a greater variety of information, materials and technology
    Support local education and assist local businesses and job seekers
    Act as a community center for all town citizens
    Provide improved services to seniors and the general public

    Entry
    Welcoming, well-lit vibrant space with clear sightlines to program areas and collections
    Easy access from the parking lot

    Children’s Room
    Enlarged to accommodate play space and collections with a dedicated story time/activity room
    Enhanced play space area will foster creativity, socialization, and the development of problem-solving skills
    Low profile shelving will provide unobstructed views of the space
    Dedicated family restroom

    Young Adult Room
    Dedicated Young Adult Room will provide teens with areas for study space, opportunity for socialization, and access to young adult collections in a space separate, yet visible to, the rest of the building

    Meeting Room
    Accessible after-hours exiting to main entrance while Library proper is locked
    Small catering prep area for events
    Display/gallery space

    Small Group Study Spaces
    Variety of dedicated spaces for individual or collaborative group work

    Integrated Outdoor Space
    Drive up material return
    Second-floor patio overlooking the Seekonk Meadows provides a shared space to socialize, read, study, or work

     

    If You Support a New Library for Seekonk,