A Space for People
This project is all about creating spaces for people.
Spaces for book browsers, students, readers and library
workers are obvious needs, but a contemporary library
also provides space for people to gather as a community.
Listening to stories and speakers and attending other
programs developed by the library is just a start. Meeting
space for community groups, whether it be a garden
club, neighborhood association, book club, or scout
troop, will be a well-used resource for all of Milton.
The library today has one small meeting nook for fifteen
or twenty people, converted from a stack area in the
basement, and one conference room for eight people on
the third floor of the 1904 building. The third floor is
totally inaccessible to the handicapped. The basement
meeting area is not a room at all, but part of the main
corridor connecting the lower floor.
The plan envisions several spaces:
- A multi-purpose meeting room for 75 that will host speaker programs, community group meetings and all large library events.
- A conference room for 15 that will serve Trustees, Friends and small meetings of many different groups.
- A story hour room that will permit greatly expanded
- Quiet study rooms that could be used by literacy
volunteers and other tutors for one-on-one sessions.
Disabled persons will be able to access all parts of the
library. Elevator service will connect all floors, aisles
that are too narrow and other obstructions to movement
will be eliminated, and entry to the library will be on
grade at both the lower and main levels. The current
steeply curved access ramp will become unnecessary
and people will be able to move into the building from
the sidewalk or the handicapped parking without traversing
steps or ramps. Measures to make the library
fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act
will make the library easier for all to use.
Parking lots will accommodate over 60 cars, an improvement
over the temporary gravel parking lot which
holds 30 to 40. There will be convenient parking near
the two key entrances—the main entrance to the library
and the lower level entrance to the meeting room area.
The selection of materials available in the library collections will significantly improve with the library expansion. Overall, the collection will have room to grow from 100,000* to 135,000. The growth will be concentrated in areas of greatest interest to library users.
There will be room for:
- 11,000 Easy and Picture books for preschool children,
more than doubling our present 5,000 titles
- 8,000 DVDs and Videos, versus the current 2600
- 5,000 music recordings instead of 1300
- 1000 audio books added to the current set of 1500
- Doubling of the historic collections
- Four times as many children’s sound recordings
- 29% more Young Adult books
- Full display of 300 periodical titles, up by 100
|* The observant browser knows that the current
100,000 items are crammed into overcrowded
shelves as seen above. This crowding damages books
and makes it difficult to select and re-shelve them.
New shelving needs were estimated with working
space on each shelf and room for expansion.
Seating and Computers
Seating is the commodity in shortest supply in today’s
library. This is especially true in regard to comfortable
seating; individual seating; and most importantly, quiet
study seating. The plans call for doubling the number of
seats from 67 to 140, including three quiet study rooms,
many individual study carrels and an array of comfortable
seats for readers.
Public computers for library users will increase from
18 to 32, to ensure access to the best of research databases
and the internet. The library will also become a
wireless hot-spot for patrons with their own wirelessready
computers. The Public Library is playing the critical
role in bridging the digital divide for those who have
no internet access or insufficient computer skills.