NEW VINEYARD — It has been a long time coming, but the New Vineyard Library Association did it.

They wrote and received grants, held fundraising events and solicited donations to come up with $311,000 for the project.

Of that amount, $227,000 was for construction, Bruce Turcotte, treasurer of the trustees of the New Vineyard Library Association and chairman of the Expansion Committee, said Tuesday.

There also has been a lot of volunteer help with the project.

The new New Vineyard Public Library is open for business and has expanded its hours to 15 per week. That includes night hours on Thursdays from 2 to 8 p.m.

The library is three times larger, expanding from approximately 550 square feet to 1,800 square feet, Turcotte said.

The association will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 2, at the library on Lake Street (Route 234). The ribbon cutting and dedication will be held at 11:30 a.m.

The Expansion Committee formed in 2010 with the goal of creating a larger library and providing more offerings. A survey in 2008 indicated the library was an important service to townspeople.

The new library is at the opposite end of the building from where the old library existed. The building is owned by the association and the Town Office, and the Historical Society occupies space in it.

The Town Office will move to the front of the building, where the former library was located. The Historical Society will move into the space the Town Office occupies.

The library has more than 3,000 books. Everything is more spacious, including the children’s and young adult sections. There are also seating areas.

The move into the new space occurred June 28, and it opened for business on July 5, Turcotte said.

The library also has a community space of approximately 350 square feet with access to a small kitchen and bathroom. The New Sharon Historical Society will use the room for meetings.

Turcotte said he has been talking with Ray Therrien, director of adult and community education for RSU 9, about bringing educational programs to the library. New Vineyard is one of 10 towns in the school district.

The association also hopes to display local artists’ work. It already has a landscape painting featuring area mountains on display. Becky Sweeney of New Vineyard made the painting for a library fundraiser. The winner of the painting donated it back to the library, Turcotte said.

Sweeney is the daughter of Judith Johnson, who donated land in 1988 so the first library could be built.

“So many volunteer hours have been given in this project, but the technical piece got up and running due to Richard Woods,” he said.

Woods set up the computer system and made sure the right equipment was purchased.

The association had hoped to begin construction in July 2012 and have it completed that December. However, the project didn’t get started until early December 2013.

“There was a lot of discussion around town about when is it going to happen,” Turcotte said. “So people who saw it visually can now experience it.” 

Even though there were some roadblocks to overcome, everyone involved worked cooperatively and the association has a good board that works well together.

“We are looking forward to bringing new programs and activities to the library as well as maintaining what we have done well in the past,” he said.

The library, which also receives some money from the town to help with operations, began an appeal in December to help raise operating expenses for the new building for a year.

“We’ve reached 62 percent of our goal for one year to raise $10,000,” Turcotte said.

The money will cover expanded hours, replacing equipment, buying new books, insurance and heating fuel.

“We hope a lot of people will come by our grand opening on Aug. 2 to see what we have to offer and to see a success story,” he said.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.