To the editor:
Kudos to Abbot Public Library for the start of construction at 235 Pleasant St. this spring. Thanks to our town’s generous taxpayers (who approved the $8.5 million override request in 2021) and the private donors who gave $1 million towards the $9.5 million library renovation project, our 17th-century town is indeed getting closer to having a 21st-century library. Once again, through this successful effort, our Town honors the time-tested public-private partnership history of our library’s humble origin that began 146 years ago as a modest reading room at Abbot Hall.
Years in the making, we couldn’t be prouder of the accomplishments shared by all the teams working together to make this transformation come to fruition. The heart of the work includes new energy-efficient heating, cooling and lighting systems, upgraded and expanded fire alarm and sprinkler systems, a new elevator, a redesigned main floor, and new finishes throughout the space.
Meanwhile, the library is offering an impressive array of programs and services at their temporary location at the former Eveleth Elementary School at 3 Brook Road. In March, children could attend approximately thirty programs, including playgroups, yoga, author visits, storytime, chess meetups and art classes. Teens and adults could choose from more than twenty programs on topics such as tax counseling, assistance with digital devices, local marine science, a delightful poetry salon, craft programs, three different book group, and a very popular support group for older adults. The small meeting room is heavily booked by local garden clubs and committees.
Imagine the possibilities when the library returns to 235 Pleasant St., where there will be more meeting spaces in a variety of configurations, better access to technology including high speed WiFi, bright airy spaces for gathering, and a maker space. We can’t wait to see the new Carten Gallery which will be larger and adjacent to an event space with new hybrid technology, a catering kitchen, and access to a newly designed garden space.
Now more than ever, we appreciate the work of public libraries. While many cities across our country are facing financial hardships in keeping doors to their libraries open, our Town is ensuring that our newly renovated library continues to provide free, inclusive and adaptive spaces for gathering as well as fulfill its vital role as a supporter of literacy, lifelong learning, pursuit of knowledge and access to trusted information.
The Abbot Public Library Foundation is proud to continue building on the public-private partnership for Abbot Public Library. We have long appreciated the generosity and forward-thinking support of our committed citizens to maintain our library, the heart of our community.
Abbot Public Library Foundation Board of Directors:
Ann Mizner McKay
Phyllis B. Smith