Library Study to Present First Look at Possible Building Designs

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You will get to see the first drawings of three potential building designs at an open meeting on Wednesday, May 11. This will be the fourth and final meeting in a series of public discussions with the library planning and design team from Tappe Architects. The meeting will start at 7:00 PM in the multi-purpose room at the library.

These preliminary designs reflect the conceptual design options discussed at the public meeting on March 29. All of the design options being considered are for an improved facility on the library’s current site at 410 Newman Avenue. The drawings will reflect scenarios for renovating the building and expanding it to a second floor, renovating the building and expanding it towards Seekonk Meadows, and constructing a new library facility within the footprint of the existing building. These initial architectural drawings will help the town’s Library Facilities Study Committee decide which of these options is the most feasible for future development.

Public input is critically important at this phase of the process. Both the design team and the committee are eager to hear comments from the public. Residents can obtain additional information about the library facilities study by visiting the study committee’s website.

Round Two: Library Building Planning

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The Seekonk Library Facilities Study Committee invites all town residents to help plan the Seekonk Public Library of the future at the second in a series of public meetings being held at the library. The meeting will take place in the multi-purpose room at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 3.

The library planning and design team from Tappe Architects will conduct the meeting and lead the discussion. The architects will report on the progress made since the first public meeting held on February 2, which attracted over sixty people. The remainder of the evening will focus primarily on the Library Building Program. This lengthy document describes the anticipated library service needs of the community and projects the amount of space needed for the next twenty years. The building program ties together the library service needs of the community and the space needed to provide those service. The building program is the foundation on which the design is built.

The architects will explain the function and sizes of each element described in the program and how the individual spaces are related to one another. The design team plans to have the attendees break into small groups to focus on particular zones described in the building program. These include the types of spaces needed currently to serve children, teens and adults as well as spaces for evolving and new services. The meeting will take a comprehensive look at the space needs of the library, so the Facilities Study Committee hopes to draw a broad cross section of the community to this meeting.

Residents can obtain additional information about the library facilities study by visiting the committee’s webpage or by calling Peter Fuller at (508) 336-8230, ext. 5101.

Future & Status of the Public Library

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Why Public Support & Use of Libraries Continues to Grow

A diverse group of about sixty Seekonk residents met  last evening to hear a presentation by the library design team from Tappe Architects.  Tappe has been hired by the Town to work with the Library Facilities Study Committee to coordinate a feasibility study and to develop schematic designs for the Seekonk Public Library of the Future. Part of the presentation included a discussion of why public libraries will remain important public institutions in the future.  Jeff Hoover, head of the library design team at Tappe referenced some of the sources listed below during his presentation.  The Facilities Study Committee maintains a list of articles and studies about the future of public libraries on its webpages. The links to these sources are replicated here to make them more easily accessible. 

Pew Research Center’s Internet in American Life Project

Massachusetts Municipal Association. The Municipal Advocate, Vol. 27, No. 1 – Municipal Libraries

New York Times

Forbes Magazine

Institute of Museum & Library Services. 

Studies from the American Library Association

Knight Foundation 

 Library Journal

Board of Library Trustees Meetings

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Next Meeting of the Board of Library Trustees will be on

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. in the Sullivan Room

If you wish to speak at a meeting of the Library Trustees, please email your request to the Board of Library Trustees at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Tentative Meeting Agenda

• APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Discussion & Vote
1. Meadows Management Committee – Questions & Discussion
2. Library Facilities Study – Questions & Discussion
3. Memorial Day Parade – Questions & Discussion
4. Library Trust – Questions & Discussion
5. Friends of the Library – Questions & Discussion
1. Election of Officers & Other Appointments – Discussion & Vote
2. FY 2017 Budget Request Update – Questions & Discussion
3. Consider the formation of a permanent, personnel sub-committee – Questions & Discussion
4. Others to be determined
1. To be determined
1. To be determined
• UNANTICIPATED BUSINESS – Items that could not be reasonably anticipated by the chairperson more than 48 hours in advance of the meeting
• DIRECTORS REPORT– Questions & Discussion


Library Facilities Study Committee Meeting

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The Library Facilities Study Committee (LFSC) will be holding a regular open meeting at 6:30 on Thursday,  May 5.  This meeting will be held in the Sullivan Room in the Seekonk Public Library.

1. Call to order
2. Review and approve the minutes of the April 21, 2016 meeting
3. Old Business
    A) Update on Friends of the Library Meeting
    B) Review Conceptual Design Options
    C) Update on Activities and work plan since prior meeting
4. New Business
    A) Discussion of LFSC appearance on Library Cable 9TV Show
    B) Preparation for May 11 Community Meeting
    C) Preparation for May 16 Town Meeting
5. Public Comment
6. Other Business that could not be reasonably anticipated by the chair forty-eight hours in advance
6. Set next meeting date and proposed agenda items
7. Adjournment


Service Opportunities

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Would you like to be more involved in the community while also helping to strengthen and improve the Seekonk Public Library? If so, there are several opportunities available for you to help your library.  We are seeking service-minded library users to run for the Board of Library Trustees, to serve on the Board of Directors of the Seekonk Library Trust, or to serve on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Library.  These three organizations are vitally important to the success of the library.  Past and present members of all three boards have known the personal satisfaction of helping a service that is so important to town residents. I know that you could find it rewarding as well, and I will be happy to speak with you about joining one of these boards.   Descriptions of each board and its duties are described below. If you are interested in learning more about any of these positions, you may reach me by calling (508) 336-8230, ext. 5101 or sending an email to  Thank you for helping us provide the best library service possible.

– Peter Fuller, Library Director

Board of Library Trustees – Under state law, the Library Trustees are responsible for the administration of the public library.  In the case of the Seekonk Public Library, this also includes the Seekonk Meadows. The Trustees are responsible for making library policy, planning, and approving budgets and major expenditures. The Trustees also administer state grant-in-aid funds.  The Board of Library Trustees generally meets monthly. This is an elective office, and if you decide to be a candidate you will need to obtain signatures from at least 50 registered voters by February 17, 2015 to be placed on the ballot. We can help you collect those signatures.

Seekonk Library Trust – The Seekonk Library Trust is a private non-profit, tax-exempt organization. The Library Trust was established to receive large gifts and bequests to the Seekonk Public Library.  The Seekonk Library Trust provided funding for both the Seekonk Meadows and the library’s Innovation Center.  The most visible activities of the Library Trust in recent years have been their annual appeal for donations to the New Century Fund, and the awarding of the annual St. Hilaire Public Service Award. This Board meets four to six times a year. There are two openings on the governing board of the Seekonk Library Trust. Both new members will be appointed by the Board of Library Trustees.

Friends of the Seekonk Public Library – The Friends of the Seekonk Public Library is another non-profit, tax-exempt organization that raises money to expand and enhance library services.  The money raised by the Friends of the Library pays for museum passes and special programs such as Family Nights and many of the Summer Concerts. The Friends manage the booksale in the lobby and conduct other fundraisers throughout the year. The Board of Directors generally meets monthly.  Any member of the Friends of the Library may serve on the Board of Directors. The Friends Board appoints its own members and elects its own officers.

Survey on Library Hours

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The library greatly appreciates the help of the 519 people who took the time to participate in the recent survey on library hours. Although the library continuously collects data on how and when it is used, it was extremely helpful to have some direct feedback from users. The survey indicated a strong desire to have the library open earlier and close later on Saturdays. Many of the people surveyed wanted the library to open at 9:00 rather than 10:00 on weekdays. There was also strong interest in opening the library on Sunday afternoons during the school year. More study will be needed, however, to determine the financial feasibility of adding Sunday hours. The Board of Trustees has requested a small increase in the operating budget for fiscal year 2016 base on this survey data.

Are Libraries Threatened?

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One of my favorite places to visit on the Web is Humans of New York. It is a photographer’s daily chronicle of  people he encounters in the city. He recently posted this picture and exchange with a gentleman at New York Public Library. Many of these insightful comments apply to all of the 16,415 public libraries in America. It certainly captures how I perceive the mission of the Seekonk Public Library. The library primarily serves readers and expects to do so for a long time.  The library is also in the information business. The library provides access to new information technologies and trains people in how to use it. The library is also what Ray Oldenburg described as that “great good place”. The library strives to be a welcoming, communal space where people of all ages can comfortably come together to learn, work and share ideas. — Peter Fuller, Director



“I don’t think the library is threatened. Circulation of physical books has never been higher. But I wouldn’t even agree that libraries are in the book business. I think they are in the information sharing business. And it just so happens that books have been the primary method of sharing information for half a millennium. The library isn’t going to compete with the internet. It’s going to be part of the internet. New York libraries have one of the greatest collections of information in the world, and one of our goals is to have it all curated, linked, and navigable.”

 “But once you’ve uploaded all your information, haven’t you made yourself obsolete?”

 “Absolutely not. Libraries provide a third space that is neither home or work, where people can come together and do thinking work. There will always be that need. And a third of New York depends upon the library system for not only free books, but free computers as well.