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Somerset Village Board: Scheiderer presents plans for library renovation

Plans for the library renovation would increase the library’s existing 3,500 square-foot footprint to 12,540 square feet. (Submitted photo)

Somerset Public Library director, Ginny Scheiderer, presented plans for the library remodel and expansion before village trustees at their board meeting Tuesday, Oct. 18. The plans would increase the library’s existing 3,500 square-foot footprint to 12,540 square feet.

“Twenty-three years is a long time in the same space and we need more of everything, more people, more talent, more technology, and this expansion will help us to get there. Our service population is currently 14,000 people and that’s only going to grow. We are super frugal and we have been making it work with what we have, but we need more outlets, more storage, more space,” said Scheiderer.

Based on input from staff and community members, along with population projections, the new facility would increase space for nearly every aspect of library services, including collections, seating, technology, meetings, prep area and storage. Variances for the expansion have been approved, though planners are still figuring out how to provide proportionate space to address parking needs for the expanded library. Drawings of the proposed changes are posted in the entryway to the library where residents are encouraged to post their suggestions using Post-it notes. Some of the suggestions received so far include gender-neutral bathrooms, electric car chargers and bicycle racks.

Scheiderer intends to schedule meetings with surrounding communities in coming months to present the proposed plans and collect their input. She also hopes to enlist the support of the trustees and satellite communities that benefit from library services in fundraising activities to raise the estimated $2.5 million it will take to remodel the building.

Scheiderer plans to keep the library open during renovations.