What they consider the advantages and disadvantages of both plans advanced for the expansion of the Morrill Memorial Library have been outlined by the Library Trustees in a statement mailed to all Town Meeting Members.
Said the Trustees:
“A Building Addition Committee was appointed in March, 1961 to bring in preliminary plans and estimates of costs by January 1, 1962. This Committee engaged John Humphry, Librarian in Springfield, Mass, and Philip McNiff of the Harvard Library as consultants. Their report has been completely accepted by a 4-3 vote of the Committee and no other plan has been fully investigated The minority of the Committee feel the survey made by Mr. Humphry and Mr. McNiff was sektchy, and their report seems superficial and incomplete Their recommendation to build an addition to the front of the present library building will soon be before you for action at the Special Town Meeting of Thursday, June 27.
“Another plan will also be presented to you. This second plan has been under consideration by the Board of Library Trustees since 1956. It is favored now by the Trustees, by three members of the Building Addition Committee, by the former librarian and the present librarian. It calls for a new building adjoining the present library to be built on the property formerly owned by the Congregational Church and now owned by a group of doctors.
“We present for your consideration the advantages and disadvantages of both plans.”
“Addition to the front of the present building.”
“1. It calls for all adult and young adult services to be on the second floor. This is entirely contrary to basic principles of modern library planning In their own report Mr. Humphry and Mr. McNifT quote with approval from the American Library Association “Standard of Building” that “all public services should be on the ground floor,” yet they recommend an addition which would distribute services on three levels.
“2. It changes drastically the appearance of the front of the present building, except the arch of the doorway.
“3. It gives the barest minimum of additional space, providing for the projected population growth for the next twelve years only. It is wasteful not to plan further ahead than this.
“4. It leaves no land for further expansion in the future
“5. Additional land to the side would still be needed to provide adequate parking
“I. It requires no major acquisition of land.
“2 It brings the front entrance and service to the children closer to Walpole Street.
“3 First cost is less than for another building because it gives less than 10,000 sq. feet of additional space.
“4. It costs less to maintain such an addition than to heat and service another building
“An adjoining building to the side of about 16,000 sq. feet.
“1 It requires the acquisition of the property formerly owned by the Congregational Church.
“2. Operating costs are higher because of the greater space and added services.
“1. It provides enough space for a population of 40,000, so probably further building will never be necessary.
“2. It provides 16,000 sq. feet for $450,000 compared to 9,500 sq. feet for $375,000 under the front plan—68% more for new space for 20% more money (excluding land lost).
“3 It makes possible several educational and civic services in the present building which are not available now.
“4. It requires no drastic changes in the present building.
“5 It provides all the parking needed.
“6. It prevents this beautiful corner from ever being zoned for business.
“7. It allows a functional, new building close to the street in a beautiful setting worthy of it.
“Let us consider these facts:
“1. New libraries built by Braintree in 1953 and Westwood in 1958 are already too small.
“2. Norwood built the Cleveland School in 1958, in its second year of operation it was overcrowded.
“3. There are already plans to further enlarge the Senior High though the addition was completed only in 1962. Its auditorium is so small that programs must be given three times if all students are to see them
“4. If all the Beacon School lot had been kept for library purposes, we would have no space problem now, but part of it was sold, thus depriving the library of access to Bullard Street.
This time, let us be far-sighted enough not to create more problems than we solve. The residents of District 3 do not want the land adjacent to the library zoned for business; they are asking you to acquire it for library purposes. If you do not do so now, it may never be available again.
“Norwood has never built a library; the Morrill Memorial Library was a gift to the Town. Let us build in 1964 a library that will be functional, beautiful, and an addition to our cultural life that we can all be proud of and use with profit and pleasure for generations to come.
“If this is what you want for your town, .support the following article on your town I meeting warrant.
“To see if the Town will vote to authorize and direct the Selectmen to acquire by purchase or. eminent domain for library purposes the former site of the Congregational Church and Parsonage located at the northwesterly corner of Walpole and Winter Streets, or take any other action in the matter, on petition of William C. Kendrick, et al)’”
Signing the statement were Trustees, Theodore R. Crawford, Martin B. Curran, Mary L. Dunn, Chairman; Therese A. Flaherty, Robert C. Fox, and Gertrude A. Tanneyhill.
(All articles were originally published in the Norwood Messenger unless otherwise noted)
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