This page will be regularly updated. Please watch the video and read our director’s FAQ to learn about the scope of the project. Click here to donate!
Marianne Gallagher, Director, answers your questions:
Why are we renovating?
In 2015, the New City Library commissioned a library consulting firm to help draft a long range plan and perform a space analysis. Surveys and focus groups were conducted to elicit feedback from patrons as to how they use the library. The results were clear but not surprising: patrons wanted more meeting space and work/study space.
Over the past few years, disappointed patrons had to be turned away from popular programs, students scrambled to find study space during the school year, and attendance at children’s programs had to be strictly controlled to afford a safe and pleasant experience for all.
In 2017, the library board commissioned architects VMDO of Charlottesville, VA, to create a master plan for the library building. VMDO conducted focus groups with patrons, staff, and trustees that yielded the same conclusions as the earlier study. With the library in sound financial shape, the board of trustees decided to move ahead with transforming a 1980s-era building into the 21st-century library their community deserved.
What will the renovation add to the current building?
We know the effort ahead of us will be worth it. Please watch the video above and see the exciting changes planned for your library. Listed below are just some of the improvements and additions we’ll be making to enhance your library experience and improve our community.
- New Children’s Meeting Room – with four times the capacity of the basement Storytime Room
- Enlarged Meeting Room – increasing capacity to 125 from 85
- Vending Café – serving light refreshments and beverages
- Three additional Group Study rooms
- Enlarged Makerspace on the main level – a place for creating
- Combined service point – Reference and Support Services staff centrally located for your convenience
- New Teen Space
- More outdoor space – “The Park” will afford outdoor program and meeting space at the north end of the building. The Maker Terrace will be for creating outside as well as serving as a stage for outdoor performances. The Entry Terrace will be a welcoming spot with seating and tables.
- A new patron elevator and bathrooms – to increase accessibility
How is the renovation being financed?
Through the careful fiscal stewardship of the board of trustees, the library renovation will be funded by capital reserves, financing within the operating budgets, and grants. While this will get us almost all the way there, we ask that you consider making a tax-deductible donation by clicking here. Your donation will ensure that the full vision of a modern library can be achieved.
Why will we have a temporary location during construction?
After extensive deliberation and calculations, the board concluded that executing a renovation while the library continued its daily operations would prove costlier and more inconvenient to all than to close the library and allow construction to advance unimpeded. A temporary location within the service area would serve the community on a smaller scale. Programs, book clubs and classes could still be offered online as well as at various locations throughout Clarkstown. Our online offerings were successful during Covid-19 and we will take what we learned into the renovation.
We are working to secure a lease for a retail location in New City, and when it is finalized, we will certainly make that announcement promptly.
What will the temporary location offer?
As it is currently planned, the temporary space will offer a place to pick up reserves, browse small collections of new materials, make copies, print, scan, and fax, as well as use the internet in an express fashion. In fact, we’ve dubbed our temporary location the “New City Library Express.”
What is the timeline for moving to the temporary location?
We plan to be fully installed in the New City Library Express by March 1, 2022. Ahead of that, we must clear out most of the contents of the building, a Herculean task. By January 1, we will halt circulation of almost all but the newer materials, packing them up and preparing them for moving to a warehouse facility. That means from January 1 on, your holds on older materials will still be filled, but will come from other libraries.
Once the date is set to move our work computers to the temporary location, circulation of all materials will cease until they are fully installed. We will try to maximize the use of the current building by continuing to provide Wi-Fi so that patrons can still use the space as long as possible.
When will the renovated building reopen?
Construction is anticipated to take 12 months beginning March 1, 2022. This is a big project, and so delays may arise from any number of factors. But please know that not only are the library board and administration making every effort to keep the budget in check, but also to keep inconvenience at a minimum.
Thank you for your support and patience. Should you have any questions, please reach out to our Community Relations Department at extension 114 or email us at [email protected]
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