In observance of Memorial Day, the J.V. Fletcher Library will be closed Saturday, May 25 through Monday, May 27. The Library will re-open on Tuesday at 10:00AM.

Library Building Project FAQs

  • Library Building Project FAQs

How large will the expanded library be?

What are some of the features of the expanded, renovated library?

What will the renovated building look like? Library Design Plans

Will the existing library have to move offsite during the renovation?

How long is the construction project going to take?

What energy efficient and environmentally sustainable features will be incorporated into the renovated building?

Will patrons be able to access materials while the building is being renovated?

Will the library offer the same programs during renovation?

When will the renovated library reopen?

The expanded, renovated library is anticipated to reopen in late 2026.

Will the renovated building be ADA compliant and accessible?

How much will the expanded and renovated library cost and how is it being funded?

Is Westford receiving any state grants for the library building project?

How will the $1.5 million the Foundation is raising be used?

The money the Foundation is raising will primarily be spent on furnishing the renovated building. The furnishings – flexible, functional, and comfortable – have to be built to last. And, depending on the amount raised, some funding could be spent on other features, as well.

Does the parking lot become smaller with the renovation?

No. The parking lot is expected to gain six additional spaces with the redesign. And the flow of the lot – along with the lighting – will be improved.

Will the renovated building have space available for after-hours events or community use?

Yes. As the library is currently designed, any public event needs to end and vacate the premises by 9:00 p.m. when the library closes during the week. With the library renovation, the large meeting room on the ground floor with have a separate, lockable entrance. That way, larger events happening in that space will have the flexibility to meet later, with an after-hours egress

What infrastructure issues are being addressed with the renovation?

  • Accessibility is an issue in the current building. As is safety. The current elevator and sets of stairs are not built to code. The elevator is too small – it cannot accommodate a gurney in the event of a medical emergency, for instance – and the stairs do not have turns or landings, which are now required. The floors are uneven throughout the building. The bathrooms and elevator are inadequate for large wheelchairs and strollers and multiple children needing the facilities at the same time. Although the building has smoke and heat detectors, it does not have a fire suppression system.
  • The way the building is currently configured, none of the collections can be housed all together in the same space. Collections are sometimes spread over two or three floors due to lack of adequate shelf space. There isn’t enough meeting, programming, study, and tutorial space in the current building to meet the community’s needs. Circulation services are not centralized. The library staff doesn’t currently have adequate workspace, either.

Why does Westford need an expanded, renovated library now?

  • The J.V. Fletcher Library was last renovated nearly 40 years ago. Since then, the town’s population has grown to just under 25,000. That’s an increase of 10,000 residents, and the library is currently bursting at the seams. Despite the proliferation of digital resources – e-books and downloadable and streaming services — patrons still use and rely on physical books and materials. Even young people – so-called digital natives who’ve grown up with the Internet – continue to use physical resources, as well.
  • While more and more information is available online, consumers of that information still need help making sense of it. And that’s where the library staff members come in. Patrons of all ages benefit from a dedicated, knowledgeable staff.
  • Residents also need and want adequate, comfortable spaces to gather. Even though more people now work from home, residents enjoy having a place to go to take a break from work. Or to have a change of scenery while working, either alone or collaboratively. Students need safe, public places in which to study. Older residents may rely on the library as either a cooling or warming station, and many residents come to the library to charge devices in the event of a power outage.

Over a year ago, did we know about the budget deficit when the library expansion vote was on the table?

  • When the library expansion project came before the Town, many of the challenges Westford now faces were not known. Over the course of the past year, Westford has experienced generational high inflation, renewed union contracts in this high inflation environment, dealt with extremely high health care insurance claims by the Town’s employees, had to negotiate a new solid waster vendor (when the outgoing vendor – with traditionally very low pricing – retired), and renewed a bus contract and special education tuitions that are dictated by the State and not the Town.
  • The library project was authorized by a vote of what is known as a debt exclusion. This funding is outside of Proposition 2 ½ and cannot be used or given to the operating budget. The debt exclusion for the library will fall of the tax roll once the note for the project has been paid off. The override, on the other hand, is a permanent tax increase.

Should we reconsider pursuing the library project during a challenging budgetary cycle?

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