Heating Problem

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The library’s heating system has developed a major problem. The heat cannot be turned on until it is fixed.  The Department of Public Works has arranged for it to be repaired and we are hopeful that it will be fixed soon. We do not expect the temperature in the building to dip below a comfortable level but it may feel a bit cool, particularly in the mornings. Staff members will be bringing sweaters and fleeces just in case. I am recommending that library users do the same until this problem is resolved. We will be posting updates about the repair and other building-related issues here and on the library’s Facebook page. 

Emergency closing of the library will be announced on the library’s webpage, on Facebook, and by Twitter. They will also be announced through the Rhode Island Association of Broadcasters emergency service. Closing, delayed openings, and program cancellations appear on all of the Rhode Island television stations. You can also obtain this information by visiting the websites of these stations, for example, WJAR, Channel 10 in Providence.

Library Designs From the N.E. Tech Students

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In 2012 and 2013, interior design students of Associate Professor Mia Alwen at the New England Institute of Technology undertook redesigning the Seekonk Public Library as their semester project. We have been asked to share these designs again with the public.  The links below are to the student’s final presentations. These presentations were originally done in PowerPoint, but were converted to pdf files for viewing on this site. Unfortunately, the quality is slightly diminished. These presentations are displayed here with the permission of the students and the NEIT. Please respect their intellectual property and do not make unauthorized copies. Thank you.

Library Card Sign-up Month

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September is Library Card Sign-up Month. Seekonk Public Library, the American Library Association and libraries across the country wish to remind parents and caregivers that a library card is an essential back-to-school item. Assisting students is an important part of our mission. Our staff works closely with teachers and school librarians to provide the information your student will need. If you know someone who has not visited the library recently, please tell him or her about all of the things that your public library has to offer. You can also just forward this email! Getting a library card is easy. People can even apply on-line. Teachers, we appreciate your encouraging students to get library cards. Please also let your colleagues know that the library offers special library cards for educators. Visit the library website to learn more about getting a card, and we look forward to seeing you at the library. – Peter Fuller, Director

An Open Letter to Library Users in Rehoboth — Please Support Blanding Library

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Dear Library Users,

We understand that the Town of Rehoboth faces a significant financial challenge.  As your neighbors, we are reluctant to weigh-in on next week’s  Proposition 2 ½ Override vote, but we are also seriously concerned about the possibility of the Blanding Public Library not receiving  sufficient funds to retain state certification.    As library users, I want you to know the ramifications if the Blanding Library is decertified.

The loss of state certification would mean that the Blanding Library would no longer receive the full benefits of membership in the  Massachusetts Library System.  This could have a devastating impact on the Blanding Library and adversely affect Seekonk Public Library and other libraries as well.  The Blanding Library and Seekonk Public Library are both members of the SAILS library network as well as the Massachusetts Library System.  Both of these organizations are only as strong as their individual members. It is vitally important that each member library contribute its fair share, and this starts with meeting the needs of your own community.

I have learned that some residents of Rehoboth believe that they may use other public libraries in the area if the Blanding Library should close or significantly reduce its services. This is not the case at the Seekonk Public Library. The policy of the Seekonk Public Library, as approved by the Board of Library Trustees, is to limit service for all residents of any community that does not have a certified public library of its own.  Rehoboth residents will be welcome to visit the Seekonk Public Library if the Blanding Library is decertified, but they will not be able to borrow materials, use our computers or sign up for programs.

Some have commented that this policy does not reflect a “neighborly” attitude, but inter-library cooperation is based on the idea of reciprocity. Each member library is expected to provide a minimal level of library services and to make those services available to any resident of the Commonwealth.  This is not possible when a library fails to meet minimum standards and is decertified. Communities that allow their libraries to become decertified are in effect telling their neighboring cities and towns that they don’t wish to meet their obligation to provide an important public service and are willing to transfer that burden to their neighbors.  Such actions do not reflect a “neighborly” attitude.

My sincere hope is that Seekonk Public Library will be able to continue serving you in the coming year. This can only happen if the Blanding Library remains a strong, contributing member of the state-wide network.  I urge you to support whatever measures will help secure sufficient funding for the Blanding Library to retain its state certification.

Thank you for considering my request, and best wishes.

Peter Fuller, Director

Seekonk Public LIbrary 

Seekonk Meadows Anniversary Celebration, 2014

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The Seekonk Meadows is an extraordinary community resource. On June 21, the community celebrated the third anniversary of the opening of the Meadows with music, art, kite flying, storytelling and a host of other activities. Some pictures from that day can be seen below. We greatly appreciate everyone who was involved in making this summer kick-off a great success, with special thanks to Cheryl Faria and the Seekonk Meadows Management Committee who planned this event. I also wish to thank the Seekonk Artist Network that arranged for local artists to display their work both inside the library and on the Meadows. I also wish to thank the library employees who helped with the planning, staff the library information booth, and stayed late that Saturday so the library could remain open throughout the event. Finally, I wish to thank the Public Works Department for maintaining the Meadows and helping to keep it an attractive place to visit. I hope to see you next year at what I am sure will be an even bigger and better celebration.

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Library information booth 

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Master Gardeners’ Display 

 

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Local Artists at Work on the Meadows

 

 

Mass. Audubon Storyteller

Children Listening to the Mass.  Audubon Storyteller

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Home-made Kites Over the Meadows

 

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Works of Local Artists Displayed Inside the Library

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Paintings by Local Artists Hung in the New Exhibit Space

 

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Seekonk receives an additional $50,000 for the Library Facilities Study

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 The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) has awarded the Town of Seekonk a $50,000 Planning & Design Grant to study the library’s building needs for the next 20 years and to develop schematic designs and cost estimates for developing such a facility to meet those needs. This funding matches the $25,000 appropriated for the same purpose as the Special Town Meeting in November. Seekonk was one of 20 communities to receive a grant from among the 28 that applied. See the MBLC press release below for additional information.

 

MBLC Awards nearly $1 Million for Planning and Design

On June 5, 2014, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) voted to award provisional Planning and Design Grants totaling $959,425 to twenty communities across the Commonwealth. The grants are part of the MBLC’s state-funded Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP). “We’re grateful to the Governor and the Legislature for their recognition that libraries are a vital part of our communities, “said MBLC Chair Frank Murphy.

The MPLCP helps libraries across the state meet the growing demand for library services with expanded and improved library facilities. “Libraries are busy,” said Murphy. “But it’s no longer just about books. Libraries are where people turn for help with technology, for support starting a business or for help looking for a job. The role of the library as a true community center continues to evolve and these grants help communities take the first step toward projects that benefit every resident.”

Twenty-eight library applications went through a rigorous independent grant review process. Libraries were selected based on many factors including community need, an understanding of future trends in library services, integration with the library’s long-range plan, support from local officials and a plan for community input.

Planning and Design Grants may be used for preparation of a library building program, architectural feasibility studies, engineering analysis of an existing building or alternative sites, schematic design, cost analysis of options, site investigation, and project management services. Planning and Design Grants are capped at $50,000 or two-thirds of the eligible project costs and require local match funding of up to $25,000. Libraries must secure this local match by January 31, 2015 to accept their grant funding. These grants and the support provided by MBLC Building Specialists benefit libraries that anticipate applying for Construction Grants from the MPLCP in the future.

This is the fifth planning and design grant round offered by the MBLC since 1999. To date, the MBLC has awarded 81 Planning and Design Grants.  Through the MPLCP, more than 200 communities have completed library construction projects.

Funding for this grant round is made possible through a 2008 state bond authorization by the Patrick-Murray Administration and the Legislature. Library construction projects in Athol, Buckland, Dudley, Boston (the East Boston and Mattapan Branches of the Boston Public Library), Falmouth, Foxborough, Granby, Holyoke, Mashpee, Millis, Walpole, Westhampton, West Tisbury and Westwood were completed with MPLCP grants from the 2008 authorization in conjunction with local match funding. MPLCP projects are currently underway in Eastham, Edgartown, Everett (the Shute Memorial Branch of the Everett Public Library), Framingham (the McAuliffe Branch of the Framingham Public Library), Reading, Salisbury, Scituate, Shrewsbury, South Hadley  and West Springfield. For more information please visit the MBLC’s website.

 

Planning and Design award details are below:

Provisional Awards Recommendations
Municipality Library Award
Amherst Jones Library Inc. $50,000
Chester Hamilton Memorial Library $41,205
Dartmouth Dartmouth Public Libraries: North Dartmouth Branch $50,000
Dighton Dighton Public Library $50,000
East Bridgewater East Bridgewater Public Library $50,000
Erving Erving Public Library $50,000
Falmouth Falmouth Public Library: North Falmouth Branch $38,860
Greenfield Greenfield Public Library $50,000
Hadley Goodwin Memorial Library $50,000
Kingston Kingston Public Library $50,000
Littleton Reuben Hoar Library $40,000
Lynnfield Lynnfield Public Library $50,000
Nahant Nahant Public Library $49,245
North Attleborough Richards Memorial Library $50,000
Seekonk Seekonk Public Library $50,000
Springfield Springfield City Library: East Forest Park Branch $50,000
Sutton Sutton Free Public Library $50,000
Upton Upton Town Library $44,220
Westborough Westborough Public Library $45,895
Westford J.V. Fletcher Library $50,000

 

 

Building Together

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          You may have noticed the sign on the far edge of the library grounds along Newman Avenue. It announces that this parcel will be the future site of the Seekonk Veterans’ Memorial.  I was pleased and honored to be invited to the unveiling of the sign during the Memorial Day Parade.

            Standing there that day, I recalled the controversy over locating the memorial on the library grounds.  And I recalled that despite the acrimony, the library trustees decided to allow construction of the memorial. It was a carefully considered compromise that sought to balance competing desires within our community. It was also an affirmation of a belief that what unites the people of Seekonk is greater than what divides them. I see that decision as a victory for all of Seekonk.

            Our willingness to cooperate and compromise creates the conditions that allow us to work together.  Standing in a park that was once the town dump I could not help but think that great things can happen when we do work together.  Seekonk will build its Veterans’ Memorial. Seekonk will continue to develop the Seekonk Meadows. It will also develop a library facility to meet the needs of this community for the next twenty-five years. All of these projects will enhance the quality of life in Seekonk. These are not incompatible goals and they are attainable if we work together.

            A start date for construction of the Memorial has not been set, but fundraising is actively underway.  If you would like additional information about the Memorial, contact Seth Bai, the Veteran’s Services Officer at Town Hall.  He can put you in touch with the Veterans Memorial Committee. If you are interested in learning more about the Library Facilities Study, please visit their webpage or ask for me the next time you visit the library.

                                                                                    —  Peter Fuller, Director

RFQ: Library Building Consultant

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The Library Facility Study Committee for the Town of Seekonk wishes to engage a library building consultant to review and evaluate a building program document that will be prepared by the staff of the Seekonk Public Library. The building program will include analyses and assessments of library services currently offered, the existing building conditions, the library service needs of the town over the next twenty years, and the anticipated site and building requirements of a facility needed to meet those needs.  The overall objective of the building program is to provide a solid foundation for the proper selection of a facility site, the development of schematic designs for a facility by an architect, and a successful application for a state construction grant. The consultant will assist the Committee in appraising the completeness, accuracy, and soundness of the proposed building program, and help the Committee assess the utility of the proposed program in achieving the desired objectives.  In addition, the consultant may be asked to advise the Committee in the selection of an Owner Project Manager.

Response Requirements   

Consultants should respond in writing and provide details on  (1) the scope of the work that you propose to perform to satisfy the requirements of the engagement, including a time schedule with  an estimated start and finish date , (2) a listing of your credentials and experience, (3) information about any  associates or sub-contractors  whom you may involve, (4) indicate any past or pending litigation pertaining your services, (5) a list of references from clients for whom you have provided consulting services in the last ten years, (6)  your fee and an estimated total cost for provided this service.  Proposals with any appendices or attachments should be mailed to the Library Facilities Study Committee, Seekonk Public Library, 410 Newman Avenue, Seekonk, MA 02771, or emailed to buildingstudy@seekonkpl.org . Proposals must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 in order to be considered by the Committee.

Selection of Consultant

Proposal will be reviewed and evaluated by the Library Facilities Committee with the assistance of the Director of the Seekonk Public Library. The Committee will make a recommendation on rewarding a contract to the Board of Selectmen for the Town Seekonk, which must approve all expenditures of funds appropriated to the Committee. The contract will be awarded to the party who in the judgment of the Committee offers the most competitive and responsible proposal. The Library Facilities Committee reserves the right to reject any or all responses to this Request for Proposal.  The Committee will not reimburse costs of preparing the proposals. Responding consultants bear sole risk and responsibility for costs incurred in the preparation and delivery of the proposal. 

Selection Criteria and Evaluation

Selection will be made based on the qualifications of the consultant and the quality of their proposal. Proposals will be examined and evaluated base of the following criteria. 

  • Understanding of the Project.  Written information and proposed actions including a time schedule that clearly demonstrates an understanding of the requirements of the project.  10 percent.
  • Knowledge of Library Practices. Preference will be given to those who demonstrate a detailed knowledge of library operations, library technology, best professional practices and state standards.  20 percent.
  • Experience. Preference will be given to those with demonstrated experience with planning, needs assessment or grant writing for community’s with populations similar to that of Seekonk and with a public library with performance similar to that of  Seekonk Public Library.  20 percent.
  • Knowlegde of Library Buildings and Construction.  Preference will be given to those who demonstrate a detailed knowledge of how library buildings are used by the public, major library building design considerations, and the rules and regulations pertaining to the Massachusetts Library Construction Grant Program.  20 percent.
  • References.  Preference will be given to those with satisfactory references from former clients to whom the consultant has provided services in the last ten years.  20 percent.
  • Price. The final proposed cost of the services as outlined in the Scope of the Work.  10 percent.

It is the responsibility of those responding to this request to provide information, evidence or exhibits which clearly demonstrate their ability to satisfactorily respond to the requirements of the engagement. The Library Facilities Committee reserves the right to ask for clarification in the proposal if the need arises. 

Additional Information. 

Please contact Peter Fuller, Library Director at [508] 336-8230, ext. 5101 or pfuller@seekonkpl.org