Board recommends Falmouth library expansion

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FALMOUTH — Trustees are recommending 5,000 square feet of space be added to the approximately 6,500 square feet now available for programs at Falmouth Memorial Library.

Their resolution will be presented at the Town Council’s Monday, Nov. 8, meeting. The council is expected to discuss the resolution, as well as the space needs for a potential community services building.

Library trustees hired engineer Jim Thibodeau to prepare a study of the Lunt and Plummer school buildings, as well as the library’s existing building Lunt Road and a hypothetical new building as possibilities for the recommended expansion.

The resolution comes after the library board hired consultant Nolan Lushington to evaluate future space needs. Lushington recommended a nearly 50 percent expansion to maintain services for the next five years.

He increased his recommendation in an addendum to the final report released last week that, he said, did not take into account the town’s political and economic environment.

The resolution also recommends a range of “non-assignable” space, from 25 percent to 30 percent of the building. That includes areas such as the boiler room, server space and other spaces not available for library programs and services.

“We thought it best to leave a range,” Trustee Julie Rabinowitz said. “It’s flexible and adaptable, so if collections increase we can adjust.”

Rabinowitz said if everyone returned books and replaced them with e-books, the library would not have enough space to store its collection.

Councilor Cathy Breen, the council liaison to the library board, said the trustees will likely present Thibodeau’s findings to the full council in a meeting on Dec. 13. Breen said the board would also likely have a position on which of the four options the library would support at the same presentation.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or eparkhurst@theforecaster.net

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