August 27, 2018

Update on the Status of the Library Project

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Updated 8/27/2018

The FAQs about our Current Status//

What is the timeline?

The library project timeline is closely tied to the status of our capital campaign. The campaign goal is to raise $8.5 million. To date (August 27,2018), we have raised just about $7.3 million. The campaign cabinet is a small team of volunteer residents, supported by a part-time office manager and the Chief Librarian. Together, they have raised an incredible amount of funding from our generous community and successfully gained support at Town Meeting with the approval of a $3 million bond. We are continually amazed at the generosity of this Town. But there is more work to do!

We are currently in the process of raising the remaining funds by continuing to apply for grants, meeting with folks one-on-one, and inviting everyone to participate and help us make it over the last hurdle! You may participate by sending donations to the Peterborough Town Library Campaign at 2 Concord Street, Peterborough NH, 03458. If you have any questions, please email office manager Laura Hanson at You may also donate online here.

We would like to keep to our schedule and begin construction in the fall of 2018. This timeline is dependent on our financing and construction details. We will keep the public updated as soon as we have confirmation on a construction date.

Will the library be closed?

The entire library collection, furniture, and administrative offices need to move out of the building once we receive the green light. The library will work with experienced library movers to pack and move the library collection and shelving. The furniture and offices will be moved by local movers and town employees. We have been preparing for this carefully with cleaning, organizing, and collection maintenance.

The library will be closed for a short window of not more than three weeks while we complete the move. Based on our progress, we may make our core services available sooner, such as public computers, Wi-Fi, and printing. We will notify the public as soon as we have a moving date.

After the move, the library will remain open in the temporary location for the remainder of construction.

Where is the temporary location?

The temporary location has changed a few times. It is challenging to secure a space while we are in a bit of limbo with our timeline. We are delighted to be tentatively planning our temporary library to be located at 1 Vose Farm Road, also known as the retail location for EMS. There is an open space next to the EMS store (in same building) with ample room to set up a comfortable, attractive, and accessible temporary library.

The staff have been thinking a lot about how to create the best temporary library. We know our patrons value access to technology, wifi, and printing. Our highest circulating collection is DVDs followed by children’s materials. We have extremely high attendance to our programming and daily visits by people from all generations. We are going to do our absolute best to provide the services and programs you rely upon and enjoy. We will have the following:

  • public computers.
  • browsing collections for all ages
  • all DVDs available
  • programs for all ages
  • a destination for families and children to play and read
  • visible and available friendly staff members
  • technology classes
  • newspapers and magazine reading area
  • workspace for students, remote workers, researchers etc.
  • small meeting rooms

There will be further services and programs but the list above is our priority. We will put much of the collection in closed stacks. Items will all be viewable in the library catalog and retrieved for you by staff. We will prioritize new and popular items for the browsing collection in the public areas. We wish we could keep all the books out but space will not allow it.

Will you still have programs?

Absolutely. We need to learn more about our temporary space before we can commit to a program schedule. But we can confirm that early literacy storytime sessions, technology classes, and our book club will remain in session.

Will you still provide meeting room space?

We are still not confirmed on the exact layout of our space. We are confident there will be some type of meeting space available but it will likely be limited to groups smaller than 25 people.

How does the bridge construction affect this timeline?

The Main Street bridge is going to be under construction beginning in the spring of 2019. The bridge will be closed for approximately 1 year during the construction project. This has no direct impact on the library project, however having the projects underway at the same time will require coordination between the project managers. The engineers, architects, and construction companies are already networked and creating communication channels.

When will you reopen?

The library construction will last approximately 14 months. We are hopeful to begin construction in the fall of 2018 and therefore be open by the spring of 2020.

What do we have to look forward to? Why are you renovating and building a new library?

As early as 2004, the Library Trustees documented major issues with the library building. You can read the full report here. The architects who completed the report estimated close to $3 million to renovate the current building. The Library Trustees decided patching the current building would not make sense. The better solution would be to remove the failed additions to the historical building and rebuild. Almost ten years later, a 501c3 non-profit, the 1833 Society, was formed to raise the funds required and oversee the design of a new building.

The 1833 Society conducted extensive community outreach to gather feedback from all of you about what you want in your library. People asked for a library with accessible entrances and an elevator, with designated safe areas for kids and teens, for better technology throughout the building, and for meeting spaces for groups of varying sizes, as well as small meeting rooms.

Ann Beha Architects were hired to design a modern, flexible, and right-sized building for Peterborough.

You can read all about the project, view a 3D walk-through, and check out the floor plans on the project page here.

How is the staff holding up with this significant project?

Thanks for asking. We are doing great! We want to be sure people know what is happening and will keep using the library during the commotion. You can email us anytime at if you have questions. We are truly dedicated to making this as smooth as possible for our patrons. We also like cookies.

I don’t see my question.

Email us questions and we’ll add it here if appropriate. Email

Author: Corinne Chronopoulos
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