Haverhill Public Library’s $10 Million Renovation Plan Moves Forward with Second Public Meeting

Haverhill Public Library, 99 Main St., Haverhill. (WHAV News photograph.)

Haverhill Public Library trustees and staff are inviting the community to attend a second public meeting to gather feedback for the building’s upcoming $10 million renovation.

The meeting takes place Wednesday, Oct. 26, from 6-7:30 p.m., at the library’s Johnson Auditorium, 99 Main St., Haverhill. Pizza will be served and children are welcome.

More than 60 people attended the first public meeting on Aug. 24, and 140 people responded to an online survey. Attendees were asked to imagine a library for the future in “Dream Machine” breakout sessions and spent “Haverhill Bucks” to indicate their renovation priorities.

“At our next public meeting, we hope to see people from the first meeting and new people who’d like to engage in the planning process,” said library Director Sarah Moser. “Among our priorities are to create flexible, welcoming spaces, enrich patron services including access to cutting-edge technologies, improve the exterior’s appearance and expand the library’s stature as a cultural hub for Haverhill’s diverse communities.”

On Aug. 9, Haverhill city councilors voted to return the library’s city-owned third floor to library trustees. The 9,000-square-foot space was part of a renovation in 1997 that expanded the building from 30,500 feet to 40,000 and helped satisfy a state prerequisite for receiving an $800,000 grant.

The library exists under a public-private partnership begun in 1873 by philanthropist Ezekiel James Madison Hale, who donated the land and half the money necessary for the original building on Summer Street. The building is owned by a private trust while the city pays for the library’s staff and operation. The current building is on Main Street and was constructed in the 1960s.

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