Need for Library Space

Posted by Aaron on

Need for Library Space

The Fauquier County Public Library provides services to the community from three locations — Warrenton, Bealeton and Marshall.  The three branches circulate roughly 460,000 items each year.  Fifty-six percent of county residents have a library card.

The library is a vital and highly regarded institution. Each month, over 22,345 people visit a library branch; 99% of patrons surveyed rated the library as “important” to their family. The library enjoys strong community support – in 2017, over $50,000 was contributed to programs and services by individuals and the Friends of the Fauquier Library. Nearly 6,000 hours were logged by dedicated volunteers.

The need to add space is critical; the library system has roughly 70% of space and 65% of seats recommended by the Library of Virginia.

The Warrenton library suffers from overcrowded conditions and lack of parking.  It has become difficult to provide basic library services.

  • Parking is a serious problem; only 13 of the 50 required parking spaces for a facility its size are available.
  • Seating is limited; patrons must vie for places to study, read or use a laptop computer.
  • Shelf space is scarce; for each book added one must be removed.
  • Meeting space is not readily available; community groups or students working on collaborative projects must be turned away; library programming for youth and adults is limited.
  • Public access computer terminals are in constant demand; wait times for computer use are common.
  • Lack of space for shelving, seats, and tables has infringed upon American Disability Act (ADA) access to library resources.

A new 30,000 sq. ft. Warrenton library is estimated to cost $15 million.

The proposed FY ’19-’23 Capital Improvement Plan includes no funds for a new Warrenton library.  The Board of Supervisors has been asked to amend the plan to include $7.5 million in FY ’19-’20 of the plan.  The balance, $7.5 million, will be raised from private sources.

To date, $2.5 million has been pledged.

The new library, located at the corner of Waterloo and Chestnut streets, is meant to serve as the cultural center for the community.  It doubles the square footage currently available.  In addition to more space for books and seating, the design includes private study and conference rooms, a large community room, an expanded Virginiana Room, wireless internet workspaces and public access computers.  With ample parking available (85 spaces), the Library Board anticipates that the state-of-the-art library will attract hundreds of people per day, a great boost to the local economy.

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