Our Library Is Failing: See For Yourself Sunday

As you know, our library is in rough shape. Just how rough? You can see for yourself tomorrow, when the Library Board of Trustees, Belmont Library Foundation and the Library Building Committee jointly host guided tours of our public library between 1PM and 3PM tomorrow, Sunday, October 17.

If you’re a Belmont resident who is wondering whether the Town really needs to build a new Library, or whether some Spackle, new paint and other touch ups will solve the BPL’s problems, this event is for you. There will be small group, guided tours of the facility as well as a informational posters and a video on display outside. Here is a link to a PDF of the flier for the event.

There is more information on the event at NewLibraryFund.org. The Library Board of Trustees has also put together an excellent, informative and -frankly – powerful video documenting the myriad of ills facing our nearly 60 year old building. Among them: outdated electrical systems, an elevator that runs on vacuum tube technology, inadequate heating, ventilation and air conditioning and inaccessibility for residents with physical disabilities.

That video is here:

A recent Library Board of Trustees meeting with the Select Board was encouraging: all three Select Board members voiced strong support for the construction of a new library building and concern that the current facility is teetering on the brink of a system failure or other collapse (flooding, etc.) that might make the building un-usable. More than 150 people attended that Zoom meeting and attendees of all political persuasions urged the Select Board and the Town to find a way to construct a new library sooner rather than later.

Still, we’ve been here before. Support for the Library in town has always been strong (it is our most used Town building). But that hasn’t always translated to our elected leaders stepping up and doing what needs to be done to support the library community. Notably, a decade ago the Town’s Select Board famously balked at putting a debt exclusion before voters, even after the state had awarded Belmont more than $7 million to build what was then billed as an $18 million facility.

That window closed, and the problems we talked about back then have had 9 years to ferment. Now we’re at a crisis point – with the Town seriously at risk of losing its library altogether. The time to act is now! Show up tomorrow and learn more.

See you there!!