MANCHESTER – After months of work by the 21st Century Libraries Task Force to explore the feasibility of a new library in the city, the board this week tasked the CEO to present recommendations for the project. here may.
By a unanimous 9-0 vote, the board of directors passed a resolution directing the general manager to “take all necessary and appropriate steps to recommend plans for a new main branch of our municipal library.”
This includes detailed plans and estimated costs for construction at the site deemed most suitable.
The CEO is also expected to recommend plans for the future use of the Mary Cheney Library building if it is not determined that this is the appropriate site for the new library branch.
The CEO will present his recommendations to the Board of Directors by May 31, in accordance with the resolution.
“We all love the Mary Cheney Library – it’s historic and has a certain charm,” said Director Dennis Schain. “But in simple terms, it’s time for us to make the decision to have a new library. “
In January, the board established the 21st Century Public Libraries Task Force, made up of members of the Library Advisory Board and other members of the public. The Library Working Group has started reviewing historical documents, data, and feedback from residents with ideas about what they would like about the city’s public library system.
“I am really excited to see this project moving forward and I know the task force has put a lot of time and energy into putting it together,” said Director Brian Marois.
Marois introduced an amendment to the resolution offering an allocation of $ 250,000 to the 21st Century Public Libraries Task Force, but this idea was ultimately rejected. Acting chief executive Steven Stephanou said he agreed with the feeling that funding would be needed to help guide the process, but there are too many unknowns at the moment.
“I’m not worried about finding a source, but I just wish the staff had some time to identify a specific source,” Stephanou said.
Other directors agreed with Marois’ desire to allocate specific funds, but also that it was too early. Mayor Jay Moran said it would be best to wait until the board knows precisely what funding might be needed before allocating anything.
The library resolution states that the city should consider a few factors when developing proposals for a new library. First, the potential for reducing the city’s operating expenses by moving programs and services to a new library building or a new library site, as well as the availability of community spaces for use by the general public.
Opportunities for sustainable income generation to support library operations should also be taken into account when developing proposals, according to the resolution.
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