Our Future

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New Mount Vernon Library Is Awesome!

 June 26, 2018

 Folks in Mount Vernon and Vienna are very excited about our wonderful library addition, expected to be completed by early August.

We decided to build a two-story addition, which required an elevator, but the good people of Mount Vernon, at our town meeting a couple weeks ago, appropriated $50,000 to cover unexpected expenses (Including some work in the existing library).

The addition is beautiful and larger than we originally planned. There will be lots of room for books, some great event space, and an expansion of space for children. I love seeing the children’s room crowded with kids, all enjoying a good book. We also will be able to host more children’s events now.

Overall, the expansion will probably cost about $400,000. We even were able to expand our very limited parking area. All contractors were local.

We’re hoping to have a dedication event in mid-August.

The expanded library will serve our two small rural communities for many many years and be a gathering place for all of us.

Thanks so much for your support!


George Smith, Chair, Trustees of the Dr. Shaw Library

Project Report – Dr. Shaw Memorial Library, Mount Vernon  April 2018

From George Smith, Trustees Chair, georgesmithmaine@gmail.com, 207-293-2661

Our expansion project is both amazing and exciting. Trustee Fred Webber took charge of soliciting bids, choosing contractors, and supervising the work. That’s a huge job and we are very grateful to Fred for taking this on.

I am also pleased that all of the contractors are local – yes, we have many talented workers in Mount Vernon and Vienna! Special thanks go Andy Dube of Diversified Drafting in Mount Vernon, who stepped up to do our drawings and plans after our first architect retired. Andy has done a superb job.

A lot of the work has been done and we expect (Hope) the project will be completed by the end of June although some of the finish work may take longer. The new structure is up and I have to say, the interior space is larger than I expected. We decided to include a second story, so we had to put in an elevator, and we had to do more work than expected in the Margaret Webber room that connects the existing library and the new building. Those two projects cost $105,000, expenses not in our original budget.

The upstairs room includes a large meeting space and lots of shelving. The beautiful art of our local artists will be displayed throughout the new building. We even have a screened in porch where folks can use our WIFI when the library is closed.

We raised $374,938 for the project, from the following sources: $101,438 from library patrons, $148,500 in grants, $50,000 from the townspeople in the 2017 town budget, and $75,000 from the Dr. Shaw investment fund. We expect to spend all of this on the project, including improvements to the existing building.

While we were hoping to connect the new upstairs room to the existing upstairs rooms, that is a $35,000 project so we have postponed it until next year, and we will have to raise that money between now and then.

We are looking forward to a celebration event sometime this summer. Hooray!

Library Report – Spring, 2018

We had 16 programs last year, 8 for children, 8 for adults.  342 people attended these programs.  Programs included the Summer Reading Program (last year’s theme was “Build a Better World”), special events at Halloween and Christmas, a Poetry Reading, Tax Help Days, A Story Sharing Session, Bird Watching, and White Lions of Africa.  We co-sponsored programs with both the Grange and Community Center. There were 3883 visits to the library.  The library has 13, 720 print materials, 1605 Videos, and 678 Audios.  We subscribe to the Maine State Library Downloadable e-book Program where 9,548 e books and audio books are available to our patrons. 11, 211 materials circulated last year, as well as 277 circulation uses of the electronic downloadable units. We had 196 people use our computers. This number has significantly gone down from last year as more and more people are using their own devices. We do know that many people rely on our 24 hour wifi access and will most likely really enjoy the new porch on the addition.

November 2017-Work on the addition has begun!  All materials have found other shelving in various rooms in the library. We are a bit crowded, but delighted to stay put!  Entrance is sketchy on the upper level. We often need to block off the upper entrance while men are at work. Please handle the steps leading up to the porch carefully. Feel free to take home bags of books and renew by phone as the colder icier weather is upon us.  We often close on days that school is closed, so please call ahead if in doubt.

September 2017-Update on Expansion Plans

August 2016–Dr. Shaw Memorial Library Expansion

We made it! I am so very pleased to tell you that we have reached our goal and now have $335,496 available for our exciting library expansion and renovation project. Before I get to the details, I want to recognize and thank our volunteers and staff, trustees and select board, and the wonderful people – both year-round and summer residents – who have generously and enthusiastically supported this project, and who make Mount Vernon and Vienna such a special place.

We received $101,438 in generous donations from patrons and supporters, and $148,500 in grants. An additional $7,800 in grants will be received in the next two years. And the good people of Mount Vernon, at June’s town meeting, appropriated $50,000 for the project, our contingency fund to be used only if it is needed. Finally, we will be able to use $75,000 from the Dr. Shaw Memorial Fund, representing much of the growth in that fund since Dr. Shaw left us his home and a small amount of money to establish our library.

As the donations were received, I marveled at the generosity of our supporters, and enjoyed the many notes expressing excitement for this project. Yes, it is exciting! We truly appreciated every single donation, including the very generous party that Gerhard Von Havenschild hosted at his beautiful lakeside home, which raised over $11,000.

We’re also grateful for the grants received from the following:

$50,000 Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation

$50,000 Windover Foundation

$25,000 Davis Family Foundation

$10,500 Kennebec Savings Bank

$8,000                   Maine Humanities Council

$4,000                   Maine Community Foundation

$1,000                   Plum Creek Foundation

We anticipate beginning construction sometime this fall. Library Trustee Fred Webber has stepped up to take charge of that process, and is currently seeking bids for all aspects of the project. We received a promise from Hammond Lumber to provide all the needed construction supplies at their cost, which will save us a great deal of money.

The expansion was estimated by architect Jim Pelsor to cost $275,000 with a possibility that it could as much as $322,000. Jim estimated another $87,000 would be needed for improvements to the existing building including a new furnace and bathroom.

We believe the construction costs will be on the low end of the estimates, helped by the donation from Hammonds, so in addition to the new addition we anticipate being able to make at least some improvements in the existing building.

During the construction period, the library will continue to serve our communities at Mount Vernon’s Masonic Hall, and we are grateful to the Masons for allowing us to do that. We of course won’t have as many books or other materials there, but we’ll rotate books and other material in and out, and continue to serve you.

We’ll recognize all donors to this project in the new library, and I can also promise you a fabulous celebration when the expansion is completed!

From George A. Smith, Chair, Library Trustees

April 2016

The enthusiasm and generosity of our patrons and supporters has been overwhelming, and we are very grateful. As of April 6, 2016, $96,000 has been received from patrons and supporters and $98,000 in grants. Along with the $75,000 Trustees plan to use from the Dr. Shaw Investment Fund, the total amount available for the project is $259,000, of which about $30,000 has been spent, mostly for architectural services.

Within the existing annual budget, we’ve been able to schedule energy improvements this spring, including insulation and new windows. As fundraising continues, we hope to raise another $50,000 to $75,000, which will allow us to schedule the expansion project this fall. Exciting!

Growing for our Community – Where we Stand

plan 2

Proposed Floor Plan

The library has raised about $259,000 towards the future expansion project.  The exact timing of the ground breaking is yet to be determined as grant writing projects are still in process.   Meanwhile, an energy audit was performed on the main building.  Many suggestions were made that could greatly reduce the loss of heat through the part of the building which will not be affected by the expansion.  This work will be done in the near future.


Drawing of Proposed Addition

Excepts from an article June 24, 2015   – from Central Maine Newspapers staff writer Betty Adams.

“Picture an updated, fully insulated and larger Dr. Shaw Memorial Library, one that keeps all the New England farmhouse charm and provides enough room to host programs for more than a dozen people at a time, and one that is accessible to all.

The library’s board of trustees has embarked on a plan to raise $400,000, with the construction to begin in late summer or early fall of 2016.

A progress report by George Smith, who serves on the board and is heading the fundraising efforts, says $100,000 has been collected already. An invitation-only gala is one of the events planned for later this summer, and corporate donations will be sought. The library trustees have been working on the project for a year already.

Library trustee Fred Webber, who has been on the board for more than 30 years, said the $400,000 would allow significant work to be done on the existing library, including new windows and a new roof as well as adding more insulation.

“With that sum of money, we’d be the fanciest small library around,” Webber said, adding that a minimum of $300,000 would allow the expansion to move forward. Donations to the library are tax-deductible, Webber said.

The trustees have worked with architects at Bunker & Savage in Augusta and now have some completed drawings.”