Grant Would Help Library Build Plan For Future

Library applying for state grant to help pay for site analysis, architect. Grant still subject to town meeting approval, renovations still likely years away.

Lynnfield Library (Patch.com stock photo)
Lynnfield Library (Patch.com stock photo)
The Lynnfield Library is apply for a state grant that could provide as much as $50,000 to help assess its future needs and priorities. The library would also need to raise an additional $25,000, which at this point would likely come from annual state aid the library already receives. 

Earlier this month, Library Director Nancy Ryan explained at a selectmen's meeting that the grant would be non-binding, would use no town funds, and may otherwise not be available to area libraries for another several years. If the Lynnfield Library did receive the state grant, it would also be subject to approval at town meeting. 

Ryan also told selectmen that "we've got a completely open mind" about whether the library eventually does a renovation on its existing site or ends up moving to a new location elsewhere in town. The grant would help pay for a site analysis and architect to assess what the Lynnfield Library of a couple of decades from now could be like. The library director also emphasized that they would work with the town's Capital Facilities Needs Committee, which will assess a variety of major town priorities. 

In a follow-up conversation this week with Lynnfield Patch, Ryan said that there is a "highly competitive" climate for the state grant in question, with at least 35 libraries having applied for only about 20 to 25 available grants.

The Lynnfield Library would also expect to ask voters at the April 2014 town meeting to approve going ahead with the state planning and design grant. Ryan noted that there would also be a technical part to such a question to authorize the library to receive and expend state money. 

Looking ahead, future library needs will likely include a computer lab, more eBook emphasis, and more outlets, including in the floors, said Ryan. 

Last summer, the library surveyed town residents on how they use it and what they would like to see in the future, for services, programs, facilities, and more. Further down the road, a possible 


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