Bath library seeks funds for teen space, reference room

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BATH — With an eye toward renovating its teen space, and upgrading the reference room, Patten Free Library hopes to raise $325,000 by the end of the year.

The 33 Summer St. library has raised $215,000 toward the goal in the past year, thanks in part to grants and pledges from its board of directors. The campaign is now open to the public.

The goal is for work to start in January 2018 and be complete by the end of next year, Development Director Samantha Ricker said in an interview Aug. 31.

The existing first-floor teen space, established in 2012, is “a small, open, oblong area outside the nonfiction stacks,” Director Leslie Dolinger said in an Aug. 31 press release.

“It has one outlet, no technology, and limited seating,” she added. “It gets crowded and noisy as soon as more than one or two teens congregate. Given the growth of the teen presence and programs in the library in recent years, we know it is time to give this age group a state-of-the-art room in the library to call its own.”

“We use a bookcase to give them a half of a wall of privacy,” Ricker noted. “It fits about three kids.”

A new, enclosed, multiple-level space will be created in the nonfiction stacks. It will offer state-of-the-art technology, and versatile equipment and furniture to allow for instruction, study, programming, and socializing, according to the press release.

“It’s not an addition to the building, so much as a renovation to a space that already exists,” Ricker said.

Meanwhile, the reference room will be upgraded to house a small conference room available for tutoring, meetings, and one-on-one instruction, according to the library.

Donors can learn more and contribute by logging onto or emailing Ricker at

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Patten Free Library in Bath hopes to raise $325,000 to renovate its cramped teen space and upgrade its reference room.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.