Dear Bixby Library Customers and Supporters,
As some of you have noticed, changes are happening at Bixby Memorial Free Library. Some books have been removed, while others are moving from one part of the building to another. The piano in the Community Room is gone and the Vermont Collection is moving to book shelves in the basement. You may be asking, “What is going on at our library?” On the surface it might look as if Bixby is downsizing services, but in reality it’s the opposite that’s true!
For the past several years the Board of Trustees and staff have been busy studying library trends and surveying our five-town community. As a result, last February the Board passed a strategic plan with a vision to “create a valued and thriving library that sparks delight in the community.” We learned that people wanted more programs for children and adults, a comfortable and inviting space to work and meet with others and digital services that can be accessed from anywhere. People told us we needed more space for our children and families who often have a hard time fitting into the Children’s Room for a story time. Community feedback supported what the trends told us: books are still important, but they are no longer the only focal point for library activity.
In order to best utilize library space to respond to our needs, we worked with an architect who helped us create a plan using the building’s existing space. We know how much you treasure the building. We do, too, and know it’s important to maintain the character of our historical building. The plan will ultimately provide more room for children’s services upstairs and an elevator to take you there. There will be a warm, welcoming active community “living room” as well as a quiet reading room. It will restore the large room upstairs known as the Museum Room to its original purpose-a large meeting space. The plan is to accomplish this work in two phases, both of which will be paid for with a combination of private and grant funding.
What you see happening now is the beginning of Phase 1, which we expect to be completed in early 2018. The focus will be the Community Room, lobby and the large meeting room upstairs. New attractive computer work stations and comfortable seating will transform the Community Room. A new circulation desk will greet you and the book carts removed to restore the grand entrance under the dome. Over the past year, we have been evaluating the historical collection and artifacts. The library will retain items that relate directly to our local community but many will need to find other homes beyond the Bixby.
Change can be challenging but change is necessary in order to remain relevant. Change can also bring new life and energy to an organization. I feel confident that it is already happening at Bixby. I invite you to contact me or any Board member if you have questions. We’d welcome the opportunity to share our commitment to the future of our great library and its tradition of excellence.
Jane Spencer, Director
Bixby Memorial Free Library
Board members: Addison-Joy Dobson and Ed Place; Ferrisburgh-Gail Blasius and Silas Towler; Panton-Paula Moore, Board President; Vergennes-Chris Bradford, Andrew Fritz and Peter Welch; Waltham-Derek Cohen and Donna Corcoran