I have listened to both sides of this story, read the consultant’s report and have come to the conclusion that the need for additional space (and hence moving the library to Lunt School) is based on outdated formulas that merely calculate storage of book volumes based on population.
I am an architect. My firm designs libraries, and I can tell you that the function of the library is changing drastically. They have traditionally been repositories for printed media and other audio/visual media. As all forms of media are in the process of turning digital, the need for shelf storage is diminishing rapidly and severely. Books are the latest media going digital. Amazon reported that they are now selling 105 Kindle books for every 100 print books. Books are going digital and are going fast. In the midst of this dramatic change my library board is telling me that we need to increase our current bookshelf space by 36 percent. Something is wrong here.
I am all for investing in my community. I believe that the library will continue to be an important social and informational hub of our town. I believe that the current library needs to be updated to accommodate technology. I am not convinced, however, that it requires any additional space. Let’s get some realistic space program information on a digital age library before we abandon what is most likely a perfectly good location and commit our town to significant wasteful spending.
Andrew C. Hyland