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 Kingston Public Library

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               6 Green Street, Kingston Massachusetts 02364          781-585-0517
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Local History
Library Building Study Committee Back to the LBSC page
Committee charge Project timeline Background
The Kingston Public Library moved into the "new" Green Street building in 1994. The now 43 year old building was retrofitted as a library on a very moderate budget and was expected to serve the Town for 20 years. We've now been here for 20 years with little capital improvement. In those two decades, Kingston's population grew by 39.6%, library attendance went up by 178% and borrowing increased by 168%.

While we strive to always provide excellent customer service, our physical plant does not support our efforts. Primary facility issues include:
  • building materials, systems, and furnishings are old, inefficient, or at the end of useful life;
    more space and more accessible shelving is needed for physical collections;
  • we lack quiet areas for individual study, group work, or reading;
  • we have only one meeting room, and it's too small for large programs;
  • there aren't enough electrical outlets, and those we have are not accessible;
  • the building feels crowded throughout;
  • the designated spaces for teens and children are much too small for activities and events for different ages; and
  • our exhibit space is too small and conflicts with study and collection space.
In August 2012, the Board of Selectmen appointed the Library Needs Assessment Committee to investigate how to best provide library services to Kingston residents for the next 20 years. The LNAC had representation from the Permanent Building Committee, Capital Planning Committee, Library Trustees, and the public, through several members at large.

The Committee compared our current services and facility to comparable communities and to industry standards; surveyed the community and the library staff; and collected, reviewed and analyzed statistical and anecdotal data. In its final report issued December 2013, the LNAC concluded that the current building is too small for present library services and completely inadequate for the community's future library needs. The Committee recommended that the Town proceed with a planning and design project to identify the best solution to the space issues.

In 2013, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners announced a planning and design grant program, its first since 2007. In April 2014, Town Meeting authorized the Library to begin a planning and design project, and also to apply for, accept, and expend a planning and design grant from the MBLC. The Library submitted a grant proposal in early 2014. The grant required a local match of 1 to 2 -- $25,000 in local funding to generate $50,000 in grant funds, for a project total of $75,000. The Kingston Public Library Foundation pledged $7,000 to the local match. Town Meeting allocated the remaining $18,000.

In June 2014, the Library was awarded a $50,000 Planning and Design grant from the MBLC.  This June 5, 2014 press release provides more details.

Answers to a few questions about the Library's planning and design project
What will happen during the planning and design project?
Building on the work of the LNAC, the LBSC will hire consultants to conduct feasibility studies; investigate and analyze different sites; develop a full building program with detailed space requirements; complete schematic drawings and site plans; and produce construction cost estimates. Whether the Town decides to apply for an MBLC construction grant or to implement the project’s proposed solution without state funding, the project will give the Town a sound, well-researched basis for deciding how to meet the community's library service needs.

Why did the Town pursue this grant?
This planning and design grant is an opportunity for the Town to take a very prudent step, using state money to leverage local funds into a solution to present and future library facility shortcomings. For a relatively small monetary investment, the project will put the Town in a position to move ahead when the time is right. It will address the concerns voiced by residents during the LNAC study in a thoughtful, efficient way.

Why now?
The project will build on the work that the Library Needs Assessment Committee has already done. The facility issues and community needs have been clearly identified. This Planning and Design grant has not been offered since 2007; it's not known when this grant might be offered again.
What if the Town is not ready to build the recommended project?
If the Town waits more than a few years after the planning and design project is completed to proceed, the plans will need to be reviewed and revised, but even with a delay, we will not have to start from scratch. If the Town decides not to proceed with the full recommended solution, the plan will still provide a sound basis for determining what services the current building can support and what benefits a more limited project would provide

How much do library construction grants provide?
Typically, library construction grants provide 50% of the construction costs.

Will this planning and design project lead to a request for construction funds?
This project will make it possible for the Town to proceed with a construction project but it does not obligate the Town to do so.

How much space does the library need?
This planning and design project will give us that answer.
© All rights reserved. Town of Kingston, Kingston Public Library. For more information please write to Kingston Public Library, 6 Green Street, Kingston Massachusetts 02364 or email the Library Director at>. For suggestions on how we can improve our services, please email The Kingston Public Library is a member of the Old Colony Library Network.