A PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP TO
REORGANIZE AND ENHANCE THE SERVICES OF THE
WILBRAHAM PUBLIC LIBRARY
LIFT, Inc. (Library Improvement Fund for Tomorrow), established in 2006, fundraises for building improvements such as renovations to the present building. LIFT is managed by the elected Library Board of Trustees. It operates in a public/private partnership with the local, state, and federal funding sources.
What are LIFT’s current priorities?
LIFT’s focus is on phasing in interior renovations to the existing 13,000 square foot library building to provide optimum use to support high demand services. Town Capital Improvements money is being used to update the building infrastructure and address health and safety issues. We are working from a Master Plan devised, and projects will move forward as soon as funding is available. It is difficult to predict a phasing schedule in the current economic climate of local and state budgets. Private funding is particularly important to achieve our goals.
Phase One- Completed 2010
• Creating a dedicated teen space in the mezzanine,
• Removing the existing staircase and building a new one toward the back of the main library room.
Phase Two- Planned for 2011-2012
• Consolidating service desks into one desk in the center of the library,
• Renovating the children’s space, including creating zones and upgrading handicap access,
• Upgrading infrastructure and safety features such as emergency lighting and fire alarms.
Phase Three- Tentatively Planned for 2012
• Renovating the adult area on the first floor, including seating areas and browsing areas.
Phase Four- Tentatively Planned for 2012-2013
• Modernizing staff office space.
What is the cost of these projects?
The current estimate for all renovations is approximately $800,000. The goal is to gather these resources over a three to five year period. Costs will need to be adjusted for inflation and contingencies over time.
Will these renovations make it unnecessary to expand the library in the future?
Regrettably, no. The planned renovations will only make the best use of our existing building and update its infrastructure. All of the infrastructure upgrades were to be part of library expansion and have been needed for many years. The result is that, to be able to meet the needs for expanded and high demand materials and services, unused library materials are being removed from the collection. In short, the library has had to make the difficult choice to downsize its collection to strengthen its services to citizens of all ages. In order for services and collections to grow to meet the changing needs of the community, expansion will be necessary. An upside of the planned renovations is that they will compliment any future expansion.
How can the citizens of Wilbraham help move these projects forward?
There are two ways: One is to be advocates for these initiatives in both the public and private arenas. The second is to make a tax deductible contribution to LIFT.
Where can I get more information?
For more information on LIFT or becoming a library advocate, contact members of the
Library Board of Trustees.
For more information about library services and renovation plans, contact Christine Bergquist,
Library Director at 596-6141 ext. 105.