Library Project History

Library Needs Assessments   

Don't have time? That's ok! A 'cliff-notes' version is below! 

(directly from pages 15, 23 & 25 of the assessment)

[This study] has been based on the Wisconsin Public Library Standards, 5th edition, 2010, and provides for a ³Basic´ level for collections and seating for an anticipated population of 2,810. It envisions a separate children's area and a distinct Young Adult space. It provides for a multipurpose meeting room to seat 75 adults and a conference/tutoring space to seat up to 8. It makes use of standard library space-planning formulas.

The conclusion of the chart is that a very efficient new one story library building could be in the range of 7,151 ± 7,437 gross square feet. (For an explanation of net square feet, used in standard library formulas, and gross square feet, used in planning an actual building, see notes below the chart.) 

Please note: A standard Library Building Program applies standard net-square-foot formulas for each library area. However, these formulas can only produce an estimate of the total net square footage required for library service. They are not designed to predict an actual building configuration. Until an actual design has been created and presented by an architect, the precise capacities and ultimate gross square footage of the library building cannot be calculated

At the programming stage, in order to obtain a preliminary estimate of the total gross square footage required in the actual future building, a factor of 25% - 30% must be added. This factor recognizes that, until the building is actually designed, it is impossible to forecast whether the building will be one-story or multiple stories, requiring one or more elevators and multiple fire staircases. Ceiling heights, the height of shelving, the length of a range of shelving and the actual configuration have yet to be determined. Pre-design, it is unknown whether there will be a basement or an attic in which to house heating and air conditioning equipment and some storage. The added 25% - 30% factor also makes allowance for lobbies, vestibule and entrance space, public staircases, emergency exits, corridors, rest rooms, closets, storage, furnace, air conditioning unit, electrical rooms, ³circulation´ (moving around) space, and the thicknesses of both exterior and interior walls. 

About Library Building Consultant, Patience Jackson

The 2008 Library Needs Assessment and the 2018 update were both completed by

noted library building expert Patience Jackson. Jackson worked in libraries for more

than 40 years in a variety of roles. The Massachusetts Board of Library

Commissioners’(MBLC) describes Jackson as the driving force behind their Library

Construction Program from its inception in 1987 until she retired in 2012.

According to the MBLC, Jackson left her mark on “almost every public library

improvement project across the state”.

Jackson was inducted into the Massachusetts Library Association Hall of Fame in 2022.

Written History of Daland Memorial Library

Sophia G Daland has a strong legacy in Mont Vernon and a strong connection to the Souhegan Valley. In the late 1800’s she bequeathed the money necessary for the purchase of property and the construction of the first library building in the town of Mont Vernon. Additionally, she created the Sophia G. Daland Trust, whose trustees are tasked with maintaining the library building in perpetuity. In 1909 the Daland Memorial Library opened its doors and has been a fundamental part of our town ever since. 

As the decades passed, the town grew in population, and the once grand library building was no longer meeting the needs of our community. In 1988, voters established a Library Capital Reserve Fund in anticipation of the need for a larger library building becoming more pressing. This Fund has been added to consistently over the ensuing years. In 1997, monies from the Fund were used to purchase a 10-acre lot adjacent to Mont Vernon’s Main Street Historic District to serve as the site for the Library Building Project.

In 2015, recognizing that a private-public partnership would enhance the opportunity for the project to be successful, a group of residents formed the Mont Vernon Library Charitable Foundation, a nonprofit, volunteer organization dedicated to raising and managing funds for the enhancement and capital improvement of the public library of Mont Vernon. The board has partnered and collaborated with local municipal leaders, prospective donors, businesses, financial planners, lawyers, and fundraising consultants to ensure all the steps have been taken to succeed. 

In 2016, the town undertook a two-year study of several downtown buildings, including the existing Daland Memorial Library building. Following one of the resulting recommendations from the study, the town voted to purchase the existing library building from the Sophia G Daland Trust for future administrative use by the town. This was an essential step in the Library Building Project because the existing building is beloved by residents and assuring its future preservation removed an important impediment to the project’s success. 

The Library Trustees engaged Library Building Consultant, Patience Jackson, in the spring of 2018 to perform a Library Needs Assessment to determine what size building would meet the needs of the Mont Vernon community, enhance the collection, increase programming outreach, and create a space for the community to gather for cultural activities. From the study, it was estimated that the current and future needs of the community require the new library to be at least a 7,151 – 7,437 gross square feet building that will include increased space for collections, an Adult Reading Room, Children’s Room, Community Programming Room, Teen Studio, Reading/Performance Porch, Event Lawn, and more. 

The Library Trustees began the design process in earnest in 2018, engaging Dewing Schmid Kearns Architects + Planners (DSK) to develop a schematic design and cost estimate for a new, 7,600 square foot library building based on the recommendations of the Library Needs Assessment conducted earlier in the year. DSK incorporated feedback from residents and staff, collected through a series of meetings and through a town wide survey, into a design produced in October 2018. The Trustees have continued to work with DSK and other town entities to refine the design and to secure key state permits for the project. 

In 2020, the project, including an associated town developed access road, received a wetlands permit, an alteration of terrain permit and a septic design permit from the state of NH. To assure that there are no issues with meeting federal environmental and historic preservation requirements, the Trustees contracted with local experts to review the project plan and identify any potential issues. The Trustees next retained DSK to complete the Design Development Phase in order to be able to present a Guaranteed Maximum Price to the voters at the annual Mont Vernon Town Meeting in March of 2023. 

Town Meeting is the sole opportunity each year to approve town projects. In Mont Vernon, budgets are voted on annually at a traditional New England style Town Meeting in March, with registered voters voting in person by a show of hands. The 2023 Town Meeting was the largest attended Town Meeting in Mont Vernon’s history. Although hundreds of residents voted for the Library Building Project, the project fell short of the 60% majority required for a bond issue by a mere 22 votes. The cost of the building to the residents has been a major hurdle throughout the project.

After reviewing the feedback from voters, the Library Trustees and MVLCF have redoubled their efforts to move the New Library Project forward. The Library Trustees and The Library Building Committee challenged DSK and Turnstone Corporation, the selected construction Management firm, to identify ways to offset any cost increases in 2024. MVLCF diligently set to work identifying further fundraising opportunities to offset the tax burden even more. MVLCF remains committed to building a library for the Town of Mont Vernon with the lowest possible impact to taxpayers.

Project Timeline

Road / Site History