Selectboard discusses Pierson Library

In addition to the future of the Bay Road corridor, the Pierson Library was also on the agenda Tuesday night. Both the Library Trustees and Library Building Steering Committee presented their CBC reports.

“[We] govern towards the Mission Statement,” Board of Trustees Chair Ruth Hagerman said. That Mission Statement evolves – being reviewed by the board every three years.

The library is a heavily used resource in the town, which is reflected by this year’s numbers. Materials circulation is up during the past year. This year, interlibrary loan is up by 70%. Visits to the library have increased by 7%. Adult programming attendance is up by 55%, while the already extremely popular youth programming saw an increase of 9%. The summer reading program for youths, which is funded by Friends of the Pierson Library, saw a 48% uptick in participation this year.

The library represents 5% of the Town’s annual budget. That puts it at about $52 per resident. In Hagerman’s estimation, that makes the facility a tremendous value.
“We offer the town a lot of things you may not always think about,” Hagerman said. In addition to offering books, audio books, DVDs, magazines, newspapers, and adult and youth programming, the facility also offers services such as free wifi, computer access, printing, and a conference room.

During the past year, 70% of residents held an active library card. That means the card had been used during the past two years.

One of the group’s current goals is to continue working with the Steering Committee toward the new library building. The current space, Hagerman said, is awkward and not very welcoming – putting it at odds with the library’s mission.

A new space is being envisioned, and that is what the Steering Committee has been focused on. “We’ve had a very exciting year,” Library Director Lara Keenan said, adding that things have taken a “huge, energetic leap forward.”

Three possible designs have been put forth, and have been generating much discussion. Much community engagement has been undertaken with the new building project, and there are three more upcoming public input sessions:

  • Shelburne Halloween Parade on Oct. 30 from 2:30-4:30pm
  • Election Day on Nov. 8 in the Town Gym
  • Charlotte-Shelburne Rotary meeting at its Nov. 9 meeting at 8am

Members voted to accept the FY 2017-2022 Capital Improvement Plan with a couple of slight amendments that had been proposed by Jerry Storey.

Water Quality Superintendent Chris Robinson gave an update on stormwater. There are several concerns on the horizon for the town, including the issues of what do about expired MS4 permits and whether the town should consider a stormwater utility.

Members ended the meeting in Executive Session considering three items: litigation with Vermont Rail, former Town Clerk compensation pay-out, and Town Treasurer compensation and benefits.

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