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Meeting
  
We're Moving! (Temporarily)
 
The Sandwich Public Library plans to move into the town's Sand Hill Community Center while its permanent home is renovated. The move will allow the library to maintain a limited lending service during the six to nine months it likely will take to repair and modernize the building at 142 Main St. in the heart of the village.
 
The $3.5 million renovation, approved by voters at the Special Town Meeting last fall, is on track to begin late this fall. As the project gets underway, the library staff and a portion of the library's collection will move about a half mile east to the community center at 16 Dewey Ave., on the north side of Route 6A.
 
The historic building that houses the community center began its life in 1885 as a schoolhouse for the children of Sandwich glass factory workers. An extensive renovation remade the structure into a new home for town activities in 2018, but the coronavirus pandemic has restricted its use.
 
Plans for converting the site into a temporary library are in their early stages, but the Sand Hill building offers some advantages over other sites reviewed by town officials. Choosing a town-owned site will save money over private rental options while still allowing the library staff to assist patrons at the level that safety allows during the pandemic.
 
The new site will take some getting used to, but we'll be providing lots of guidance on how to get there and how to use the library. Parking at the community center doesn't match what's available at the Main Street library but should be adequate for the reduced service mandated by public health considerations.
 
After closing for several months in the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, the Sandwich Library reopened its doors in July. Adhering to the guidance of town health and safety officials, the library limited services and asked patrons to maintain distances, limit their time in the building and wear masks.
 
The same standards will prevail at the temporary site. 2020 has been challenging for everyone. For the Sandwich Library, the expected disruption for the renovation wound up overlapping with the unexpected health emergency. We accept those challenges. The library is the heart of our community, and with your help, we'll keep it beating. 
 
Joanne Lamothe, Library Director 

 

Questions and Answers About the Renovation and Relocation
 
When does all this happen?
Dates for the start of the renovation and the move to the temporary site have not been set. But you can expect the action to start in late fall, after the town selects a contractor to carry out the plan for the library's interior renovation. Until then, the library remains open with limited services at 142 Main St.
 
What are the 'limited services'?
Patrons can request materials from the library's online catalogue at www.sandwichpubliclibrary.com or by calling the library staff at 508-888-0625. They also can browse a limited selection of books, magazines, audio books and DVDs for all ages on display inside the library. The library staff is available to help with selections.
 
An extensive collection of ebooks, audio books, movies, music, magazines, newspapers and databases remains available through the library's website. But at a time when many of us feel isolated, you can count on finding a friendly face at the library.
 
What's missing?
Parts of the library are closed because of the health precautions. They include the Children's Room, Archives, most of the stacks, the newspaper racks, the personal computers and printing, the copiers, the reference section and the seating areas.
 
How's the renovation going?
The town is seeking bids from contractors to carry out the plans developed since the interior renovation was approved at the Special Town Meeting in October 2019. The team of architects, StudioMLA and David King, along with the project management team, Pomroy and Associates, and town administration have been working with town administration to complete the vision of the improved library.
 
The historic structure was last renovated three decades ago, and today's planners are taking advantage of new design concepts, new technology and new expectations for public spaces. Among the upgrades: The Children's Room will be relocated, expanded and brightened. The Town Archives will have more storage, climate control to preserve historic documents and more space for showcasing collections. Gathering spaces and quiet reading areas will be improved. There will be more plugs and better WiFi, as well as additional workstations. Improvements to accessibility are also included in the design. 
 
 

Around the Library

Hours & Contact Info

Sandwich Public Library
142 Main Street
Sandwich, MA 02563
Tel.  (508) 888-0625
Fax. (508) 833-1076
spllib@comcast.net

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Library Hours:

Tuesday - Thursday ~
9:30 am to 8:30 pm

Friday & Saturday ~
9:30 am to 4:00 pm

Sunday (October - April) ~ Closed

Monday ~ Closed

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