Frequently Asked Questions


More FAQs can be found here: Cost - Building - Road/Site

Who owns the current library building?

The Town owns the current library building. The town voted to purchase the building from the Daland Trust in 2018. 

Aren't libraries outdated? Does anyone read books anymore?

Libraries are as relevant as ever! In addition to offering a myriad of physical and digital resources for free, libraries are a place for community members to come together, share interests and connect. Check out our library statistics for 2023 below!  

Wouldn't it be great if Tuesday's popular Coffee & Books session was accessible to all of our seniors? How about if our students had a Young Adult room where they could meet for group projects and tutoring? Or if the Girl Scouts had a program room where they could get messy with crafts? Those are just three examples of the many capabilities this new building holds. In our modern online age, we need to actively work against becoming disconnected. A strong library is an investment in maintaining the connection of this small, tight-knit community that drew so many of us here. 

If the library is more than a library, then why do we call it library? 

The role of libraries in the community has changed over time to reflect changes happening in society, and libraries are as relevant as ever in the building of strong communities. According to the American Library Association our library is offering materials, programs and services in line with modern libraries. 

"A library is a collection of resources in a variety of formats that is (1) organized by information professionals or other experts who (2) provide convenient physical, digital, bibliographic, or intellectual access and (3) offer targeted services and programs (4) with the mission of educating, informing, or entertaining a variety of audiences (5) and the goal of stimulating individual learning and advancing society as a whole." (p.1)

This definition is taken directly from George Eberhart's The Librarian’s Book of Lists (Chicago: ALA, 2010), and in turn is compiled from:

(1) Heartsill Young, ed., The ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science (ALA, 1983)
(2) Robert S. Martin, "Libraries and Learners in the Twenty-First Century," Cora Paul Bomar Lecture, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, April 5, 2003.
(3) Deanna B. Marcum, "Research Questions for the Digital Era Library," Library Trends 51 (Spring 2003): 636-651.

We are a small town. We're limited in what infrastructure we can build, both with space and with money. Anything we build should serve multiple functions, so we can get the most bang for our buck. 

Is there a better name that reflects its actual functions? I have seen many such buildings named as “community centers”.

Under the terms of Sophia G. Daland’s will, the building must be called the Daland Memorial Library in order for the Daland Trust to continue to pay for all maintenance and utilities.

Additionally, there are a large number of annual grant opportunities for libraries in particular. Losing the "Library" name would result in the loss of many grant opportunities that the current library relies on to hold programs. 

How many books are in the current library?

The library has a total of 11,503 print materials in its physical inventory as of the 2022 statistics.

There are also about 1,000 other physical materials currently in the library (DVDs, Audiobooks, magazines, etc)

How many books and other materials will be in the new one?

The staff anticipates using available Trust Fund resources to initially increase the collection by more than 3,000 physical materials (about 30% more than we currently have). There is also space to expand that even more over time. 

The plan, if the library were to pass, would be to weed through our current collection based on our Collection Development Policy to make sure we are only moving the best of the collection to the new site to help reduce moving costs and keep shelves open for new books. There are four Trust Funds held by the Town Trustees earmarked for the purchase of “library books only.” This includes $59,000 in available funds for “books” with an additional $31,000 for “library use”. The Library Trustees will request the release of these funds to start the process of filling the shelves with new books. The current library has always lacked the space for a true core collection in all areas but especially Adult Non Fiction, Adult Classics, Adult Fiction Series,Young Adult Fiction and Children’s Picture Books. A plan to spend a portion of these Trust Funds annually to greatly enhance the current materials budget will expand the collection quickly without the burden falling on the taxpayer.

Does the new library provide computers for public usage?

Yes! The new library will provide computers for public usage as well as several Adult and Young Adult desk stations where patrons can use their own computers while taking advantage of the free WiFi. 

Who pays for the cleaning of the current library?

Mont Vernon is very fortunate that the Daland Trust pays for cleaning the current library. There is no cost to the Town.

The current library hours are open for a total of 37 hours a week. Is the new library going to have the same hours? Will the staffing plan be the same?

The new library is expected to have the same open hours and has been designed to function with the same staff as the current building. 

Should voters request additional open hours in the new building, the Trustees will propose a future budget for consideration by voters to support the needs of the residents.

If the library is so essential to our community - why is it currently only available to the community for 37 hours a week?

The library hours have increased and adjusted over time based on the needs of the residents. The current open hours have been derived to support those who want to use the facility during the day and those who need it to be open in the evening. 

Additional hours would require additional staffing or salary funds and is generally driven by the needs of the residents.
As a comparison, Mont Vernon's library is currently open four more hours per week than the average NH Public Library. 

Why can't we buy and renovate an existing building? 

It would be great if it was as easy as it sounds to renovate an existing building in town. Unfortunately, commercial building codes and ADA requirements make it extremely difficult to do this. In the many decades leading up to the current New Library Project proposal, past library building committees looked at such options and it wasn't possible. 

When considering renovating another building in town to be used as a new library, there are many obstacles:

What about the purple house on Main Street?

Assuming the best-case scenario, we'd need to:

Using the 2 available floors, we'd gain:

*Does not address sprinkler protection and many other potential issues

If the town votes no in 2024 - will the library project still pursue another vote by the town in 2025?

This is a great question. After the 2023 Town Meeting, the Library Building Committee, the Library Trustees and the Mont Vernon Library Charitable Foundation all spent time studying the feedback and made the decision to continue forward with the project. 

Because the majority of voters supported the project, the site permits don't expire until 2024 and 2025, the Conyers' gift to the MVLCF does not sunset until late 2024, MVLCF was able to extend several other contingent donations and the NEH grant another year, it just made sense. 

If the vote fails in 2024, the situation going into 2025 is very different. A library project at Town Meeting 2025 would have to reflect:

In short, the town will lose millions towards the project and add new costs -- either putting a new library out of reach or increasing the burden on the taxpayer. 


If the town doesn’t support the current library project when taxpayers are being asked to fund only 35% of the total cost (the remaining 65% coming from gifts, grants, and donations), it’s unlikely they’d support the project at full price in 2025.

Does the library project support restricting reconsideration of the vote at the Town Meeting regardless of the outcome?

Restricting reconsideration is a parliamentary matter for the Moderator and individual voters at Town Meeting. 

What about those who can't afford the increase in taxes?

The tax burden in our community is a serious issue that requires scrutiny of all new spending. Mont Vernon's high property tax rate is primarily driven by school and state costs-- the portion that goes to our municipal functions is only about 20% of the overall rate, but it is the part that we as a town can most directly control. The instinct to shut down any new town cost is understandable, but that also means withholding investment in our infrastructure. 

The library project increases the overall tax rate by less than 1%. Halting the project will not have a significant impact on the tax burden, yet will mean that the significant funding spent on design and permitting will have been wasted rather than invested.

The Select Board has proposed an update to the elderly property tax exemption which may partially address this concern. An unfortunate effect to NH’s choice of property tax as the primary means of funding public needs is that it can place a burden on those who have significant property, but limited income. Recognizing this reality was a primary driving force in the formation of the Mont Vernon Library Charitable Foundation and the significant fundraising they have done.

Is the library project committee open to new ideas or modifications to the current proposal?

Absolutely! All Library Building Committee meetings are open to the public and posted in advance. The public is welcome to attend and offer any suggestions they may have. We are also very open to new volunteers who may have time and expertise they are willing to invest in the project.