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Vote to approve the proposed funding for the Ramsdell Library at the Great Barrington Town Meeting on May 6

While Great Barrington’s two libraries are linked and are two locations for one library system, there are unique spaces within the Ramsdell library which do not duplicate spaces within the Mason Library and offer opportunities for unique programming for the families and adults in the town.

To the editor:

The Housatonic Improvement Committee encourages voters in Great Barrington to approve the proposed funding of $150,000 so that the Ramsdell Library can apply for a much larger state grant. The $150,000 will be spent only if the library successfully secures a much larger grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MCBL), which will fund up to 60 percent of the project.

There are options for funding the larger project. The town of Great Barrington has planned on investing $1 million in identified and critical capital repairs (the heating and cooling system) and upgrades to meet code over the next 10 years. These upgrades could be included in the larger project. Additionally, there is a group of enthusiastic citizens who are committed to securing donations toward the capital project to fulfill the remainder, if the Town Meeting approves the required $150,000.

This is an amazing opportunity to leverage a minimal outlay from the town.

While Great Barrington’s two libraries are linked and are two locations for one library system, there are unique spaces within the Ramsdell library which do not duplicate spaces within the Mason Library and offer opportunities for unique programming for the families and adults in the town. Ramsdell, an architectural gem built in 1908, shares many characteristics of a Carnegie Library and has an exciting future ahead. With careful planning, architects and community members have been sharing potential uses for the gorgeous building.

Let’s get behind this effort! Vote for the proposed funding at the Town Meeting on Monday, May 6.

Angela Lomanto, chair of the Housatonic Improvement Committee
Housatonic

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