Campaign to Update and Fund a Library for the 21st Century
Stonington, Conn. (August 13, 2020) – The Stonington Free Library (SFL) is pleased to announce the public launch of our Capital Campaign to Update and Fund a Library for the 21st Century. The goal of the Campaign is to provide increased access to Library services for all. This means improved physical access to all areas of the Library, regardless of disabilities, but it also means increased opening hours as well as digital and other infrastructure upgrades that allow access to the Library from wherever our cardholders may be. An internal refurbishment will also refresh, redesign and re-equip our Library to keep up with evolving user needs. To date, the Capital Campaign has received a total of $1,475,000 in pledges from more than 80 leadership donors, including the Town of Stonington and a State Library Construction Grant. This puts the Campaign at over 80% of our $1.8MM goal. We hope that the entire community, from river to river and beyond, will join together to help us reach our goal and make this plan a reality.
In recent years, community usage of SFL’s services has grown well beyond its intended capacity. With over 70,000 annual visits, more than 50,000 items checked out, 600 Summer Reading Program participants and more, the capabilities of our charming but outdated facility have become increasingly stretched. To address these challenges, the Library Director and Board of Trustees developed a comprehensive Strategic Plan to guide the necessary work of expanding the Library’s potential. Based on the results of a community-wide survey, the Plan incorporates three linked initiatives:
Increase Floor Space and Improve Accessibility
If your wanderings have included walking through Stonington Borough, no doubt you have seen the progress being made on the new accessible entrance. This part of the project constructed a new 700sf addition on the east side of the Library’s central section, providing an accessible entrance, elevator, and bathrooms, while also freeing up 575sf of floor space within the existing building, resulting in a total of 1,275 additional square feet of usable space that complies with Americans with Disabilities guidelines.
Refurbish and Upgrade Interior
The renovation of the Library’s existing interior is designed for flexibility and user comfort. Easily configured furnishings and seating will compliment the open areas, and mobile shelving will provide functional meeting areas for individuals and groups. Enhanced electrical infrastructure and fiber-based broadband will give users up-to-date technology that connects the Library’s past, present, and future.
Build Financial Sustainability
SFL depends upon its endowment for funds to maintain its physical plant, sustain its programs and services, and attract and retain our talented and caring staff. Successful completion of the Capital Campaign will add to our endowment, safeguarding the Library’s future financial stability while also generating increased operating income to fund enhanced programs, services and operating hours for an ever expanding and diverse group of users.
Our story began with the donation of just a single dime. Please help us write the next chapter. For more information about the Stonington Free Library, including information about how to donate to the Capital Campaign, visit https://www.stoningtonfreelibrary.org/capital-campaign-2020/
Founded in 1887, the Stonington Free Library is a private association that serves the entire town of Stonington, offering print and digital media items, online subscription services, and a diverse range of programming for adults and youth alike, all free of charge. The mission of the Stonington Free Library is to enrich lives and build community by bringing information, ideas and people together.
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