It is our sincere hope to make this building accessible to all patrons and capable of serving the needs of our town. Our charming building was donated to the town in 1903 by James Marshal Fairfield, but has not been renovated or expanded in it’s 120+ years of service. Douglas residents deserve accessibility, parking, restrooms, and elevator, and space!
In the summer of 2023, the trustees engaged the services of a library building specialist to prepare a library building program that outlines the needs of our community based on population projections, survey results and focus groups. You can read the Library Building Program here. It outlines a 13,600 square foot library that quite a contrast from our actual 4,200 square foot library.
Throughout the process, we emphasized the need to remain as conservative as possible within the framework of the community input provided for two reasons. Firstly, our property isn’t huge–it is questionable whether a 13,600 square foot facility would even be feasible here and nobody really wants to move the Library. Secondly, we respect the community’s fiscally conservative culture and strongly believe in doing our work without being overly burdensome. If, however, we want to apply for state grant money to fund half of a building renovation, that’s what we have to be prepared to build.
It seems like a lot. But consider this perspective: the average library that serves a population our size in Massachusetts is 25,388 square feet. The average library is 6.04 times bigger than ours. This building program describes a library that is only 3.2 times bigger. When we say we put a lot of effort into trimming this down and making it as lean as possible, we mean it.
No matter how lean public construction projects are, though, they remain incredibly hard to fund.
We are therefore asking for your support. If you find yourself able and willing to contribute to our capital campaign, please consider helping us make our building accessible to the patrons who need it to most. You can support us by checking out the Friends of the Library page (https://mysfpl.org/friends/) and donating to the building fund through their paypal button. You can also donate directly by mailing a check made out to the Library Building Fund to PO Box 607 in Douglas, MA 01516. Donations are 100% tax deductible.
If you aren’t in a position to donate, please pass the word along. Our need is real, but building isn’t cheap. Call the Library at 508-476-2695 or email the director at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Thank you for reading.