New Hopkinton Public Library

Casey Rector

Due to lack of space, planning for a renovation on the existing Hopkinton Public Library has begun.  Construction should take place during the summer of 2014, if a grant is supplied by MBLC (Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners), if all else goes well.

The current library, located on 13 Main St., is in dire need of improvement.  Susan Marshall, Adult Services Librarian, explains why this library does not meet the needs of our community.  There were “less than 2,000 people living here in town, when it was built…we’ve more than doubled our population, but our library is still this size.”  Our library cannot hold the multitudes of novels our town desires.

Among the improvements and plans wanted by the town and library are more space for the program room, teen room, computers, and more books, music, and movies.  The librarians must “take away books, in order to put new books on the shelf” (Susan Marshall).  Librarians would also like to introduce gaming to our library, along with teaching people about computers and using new software.  Structural issues with the building also need to be addressed, such as leaking windows and the fact that the building is not handicap accessible. “Both the teens and adults of Hopkinton deserve something that will service their needs” (Denise Kofron, Children Services Librarian).

Although the services the library plans to offer have been agreed upon, the location for the actual building is still in discussion.  The previous plan was to build the library behind Center School.  The problem with that is the Center School cannot guarantee that they will not need that land in the future, or when they can give it up.  It would be more cost effective to build from scratch behind Center School, than to build on top of the current library, for structural reasons.  Behind Center School was the best option, but building onto the current library is the second best.  The library, which is made up of two separate yet connected buildings, is hard to let go of, “these two buildings are historic buildings” (Susan Marshall).

There are many problems that go along with constructing a new library for Hopkinton.  When the construction for the new library starts, it will be difficult to find a place to move the books to.  Another setback is that “taxes will go up a little” (Denise Kofron), as a result of an improvement on the library.  But, “if we get the grant, it lessens the impact on taxes” (Denise Kofron).

There is a long way to go before construction commences for a new Hopkinton Public Library.  In January 2011 the town will submit a grant application to MBLC.  Grant recipients are announced in the summer of 2011, and hopefully, the Hopkinton Public Library will be among them.  If the library is given the grant, a vote will take place to determine if residents will fund 25% of the cost of the project.  In January of 2012, the town will sign a contract with the state to receive the grant.  Construction will begin within 12 months of the signing of the grant contract.  The new and improved Hopkinton Public Library will open after the approximated fourteen to eighteen months of construction, in the summer of 2014.