The Library Planning and Building Committee was established in December 2009 and charged with studying the long-range library plan and the library siting committee reports, as well as studying area libraries, and then with hiring an architect to produce plans for a new Oxford Public Library.
The committee worked with the architectural firm Peter Gisolfi Associates and our lead architect was Michael Tribe.
Our referendum for $3.5 million passed in November 2015 to build our space of 8,600 square feet on one floor. The committee finished the Design Development, and went out to bid on September 9, 2016.
New Oxford Library Project Update:
Bid opening was at 2pm on October 21, 2016. Bid was approved to be awarded to Montagno Construction of Waterbury, CT.
Town meeting was held December 7th, 2016 to approve the transfer of $250,000 from the general fund to the library construction fund for construction of the full basement option. This will allow for storage space and future expansion of library services.
We met monthly on the first Mondays at 7pm at Town Hall to move forward with our charge. Meetings were open to the public and we welcomed citizen’s input.
Chair: George Mitchell
Vice-Chair: Barry Schiff
Treasurer: Jim Westgate
Dawn Higginson, Library Director Liaison
Clerk: Faith Williams
Full text of the Long Range Plan available here.
The Library Long Range Planning Committee formulated a 6-year-plan and building program in 2006 for the Oxford Public Library. The plan provides for a beautiful library building that will be a source of pride for the community for many years to come. We will have the space to provide full library services and meeting spaces for patrons of all ages. A Connecticut State Library grant provided funds for a library planning consultant, Nolan Lushington, who worked with the community and the committee. The members of the committee were:
Maryellen Joncyk, Chairperson
Essie Lydon, Secretary
Dawn Higginson, Director
Lois Hiller, former Director
Objectives for a new Oxford Public Library
To fulfill it’s mission of independent learning with an emphasis on children’s service and community cultural and information services the library needs to focus on improving its facilities. Nearby communities such as Derby, Southbury and the Monroe library have shown how important expanded facilities are to the improvement of library services. The Oxford library building is by far the smallest in its population class and less than one fifth of the size needed for its present population.
From the inception of library services in Oxford in the Nineteenth Century citizens have wanted the library to be a cultural and information center for the citizens of Oxford. It should provide patrons with the ability to view art displays, to listen to music, to join in book discussion groups. All of this will motivate citizens to use the library’s collections.
The new library should have:
- A Separate children’s area — Children need their own space for study, programs, and computers.
- Space for a growing collection — The library needs to have room to expand its range of materials to offer users the opportunity for independent learning.
- More seating is needed so that users will have room to read.
- Quiet study areas — Citizens need a comfortable and quiet place to read.
- Group study areas — Students need room to work together on projects.
- An area for young adults — Young adults need computers and study space.
- A community program room — The lack of meeting places in Oxford is chronic. Organizations and library programs need a choice of small and large meeting space to enhance cultural activities in Oxford.
- Efficient staff work facilities— Staff need well-designed and comfortable space to perform the support services needed in a library. They need to select order and process materials and do computer searches for users in a comfortable well-ventilated work area.
- Space for more computers. The Internet greatly facilitates the materials collection in searching for information for library users. In addition users need to be able to use a variety of computer programs in comfortable ergonomically designed electronic workstations.
- Secure space for our local history and Connecticut collection. Unique Oxford materials need to be housed in a climate controlled secure room with controlled access.
- Out-door library space — The beautiful rural setting of Oxford and the town’s emphasis in developing open space for enjoying nature should be part of the library experience.
- Friends activities space — A vital and active Friends organization that engages in library programs, assists with book sales and provides funds to expand the library’s programs needs a spacious location for its activities.
Other Benefits of a new library building:
- A larger town library will improve the value of local real estate.
- Community culture and quality of life will be enhanced.
- An educated community will increase income.
- The Town Hall will be able to expand into the vacated space.