Over the next two weeks, the Rockport Select Board will be meeting with three groups of people:
1. Those who have a deep understanding of the Rockport Public Library and its patrons;
2. People with specific areas of expertise that can give perspective on the location of a future library building; and
3. Community experts who can help the board understand the effect (positive and negative) a library can have on its immediate neighbors and the surrounding district.
On January 30, at 7 p.m., in the Rockport Opera House meeting room, the board will be speaking with the Library Committee, librarian and a fundraiser.
The Library Committee and librarian will be proposing a slightly smaller statement of program needs and which areas in the library — fiction, non-fiction, children's, young adult, etc. —need what amount of space.
Charlton Ames, who has been heading up the fundraising effort for a new library, will talk with the board about what to do and what not to do at this stage of the plan; actions that could turn off or turn on future donors.
On February 1, 7 p.m., in the Rockport Opera House meeting room, the board will be having a conversation with architects, engineers, contractors about the upsides and downsides of the 1 Limerock Street and the RES site.
On February 7, same time and place, the board will be meeting with Jane LaFleur, former director of the former nonprofit planning Friends of Midcoast Maine, and one or two town and regional planners. This is the area where we will be trying to gain a good understanding of what a library on a given site (1 Limerock Street and RES) means to the immediate surrounding area and what the best use for each sight might be.
A couple of the areas to be explored is what effect removing the library from 1 Limerock Street might have on the proposals to build a boutique hotel on Central Street or what the loss of the ballfields at the RES sight might have on housing development along Route 1 (Commercial St) from Hoboken Gardens to the Market Basket.
On February 9, same time and place, the board will try to put all we learn together so to make a decision on which site to use.
All meetings will be streamed at http://livestream.com/Rockportmaine
Meeting agenda, Monday, January 30
Rockport Opera House Meeting Room
Public comment will be accepted in written form, either by e-mail or throughout the meeting and all should be framed as questions.
Discussion with members of the former Capital Campaign Committee
Presentation by the Library Director and Library Committee followed by discussion regarding the size and program needs
Confirm the dates for subsequent meetings
Wednesday, February 1, 7 p.m., ROH, livestream
Tuesday, February 7, 7 p.m., ROH, livestream
Thursday, February 9, 7 p.m., ROH, livestream
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