Major Initiatives at the Newton Free Library

Our Strategic Plan details the wide array of initiatives that the Library is pursuing. Many of those could be made achievable through a major gift.

Long term, we are looking to do a full renovation with a small addition. The focus here will not only be to refresh and reorganize our now 24 year old building, but to make significant improvements in our Children's and Teen spaces, unifying them in a new Youth Services Dept. organizationally, while still keeping distinct spaces for each of the three major age groups represented here. Our Children's Department now is one of the most busy in the state (it would be the 14th busiest library in the state if counted as an independent library), but in many ways it was under-imagined when the current building was designed, particularly in its program space and the features it has for engaging visitors in longer stays. Since this full project realistically has a 5-7 year time frame, we do want to make progress on some key aspects of this plan more immediately.

We have recently received major support for two key aspects of our Plan, an updated Teen Space, and our first Library Maker Space to support our STEAM programming initiatives. Other important opportunities for gifts to make a tremendously positive impact are as follows:

In our Children's room we hope to immediately improve programming space by shifting the staff office out to space now occupied by our Newton Collection, and locating that upstairs. This will also make the staff space connect the Children's room with the new first floor Teen Space once that is moved. We anticipate that this will be a $50k project.

On our third floor we are establishing a Language & Literacy Center that is the heart of our very active English Language Learner program (typically 300 volunteer tutors serving 5-600 learners). We anticipate needing $30,000 to complete this project, including new furnishings that better facilitate group study work and conversation group meetings.

We plan to invest $40,000 in upgrading seating, tables and presentation equipment in our Druker Auditorium. All of it is simply worn out and fading, upgrading it will make an immediate impact on one of the most actively used meeting spaces in the City.

On the furnishings front we want to improve our quiet study seating geared towards individuals. Our 2nd floor is the heart of our quiet study space, but it has a very limited seating variety - either tables for 4, lounge chairs, or carrels with hard chairs. We want to spend about $20,000 to try out some more varied seating options that promote individual study in a much more comfortable way, and will inform future plans to outfit the whole floor.

Please contact development Director Ellen W. Eckenrode or Library Director Phil McNulty if you wish to support any of these initiatives.