Building for the Future

Dear Members of the Greater Hampstead Community:

In an effort to provide additional safe places for the community to gather, the Hampstead Public Library has been working to improve outdoor spaces.  A sturdy StoryWalk® and a safe off-street path to the Storybook Garden were achieved in 2021, due to grants and generous donations.

The next goal set forth by the Library Board of Trustees is to build a 20 x 40-foot roofed pavilion on the Library’s front lawn.

Hampstead Public Library Pavilion Brick Walkway Fundraiser- Phased Approach

The Hampstead Public Library Trustees would like to thank the Hampstead community members who have donated so far to our “Building for the Future” Pavilion Brick Walkway Fundraiser.  We have adjusted our plans a little so we can move forward with the process. Here are our phased plans for continued fundraising.

Phase 1 included our brick fundraiser. Brick order Deadline is now August 22. Over 275 organizations and individuals have indicated that they support the pavilion with their choice of bricks.  We currently have enough money to complete the slab and the foundation for the pavilion and will begin that phase in August. Once that slab is complete we will be installing the brick pathway so our donors will have the satisfaction of seeing their personalized bricks.  Some of the difficulties of using the front lawn will be alleviated with the installation of the slab and safe accessible pathway.

Phase 1 includes the Library researching grants and free public money to support our pavilion. Rosemary Krol, our director, has applied for over $100,000 in state, private, and public grants, but due to the great need of others because of COVID, we haven't yet qualified for these larger grants.  We continue to search for appropriate grants. The main reason we started this project was to help us continue to serve the Hampstead community more safely outside, during COVID and beyond.

During Phase 2, the library will continue fundraising and applying for grants, including seeking ARPA funds from the town. The goal of the pavilion is to help mitigate issues of safely meeting and social distancing that the pandemic has created.  The result of Phase 2 will be purchasing and installing the 20 by 40-foot pavilion kit. It is to serve all ages and facilitate outdoor meetings and programs, such as toddler story time, various classes, book discussions, craft activities, summer programming, and much more. The planned structure provides wheelchair-accessibility, and is equipped with electricity and a wireless internet connection.

Phase 3 will be happening in 2023. Once the pavilion structure is put up then we will begin to assess what kind of landscaping we might need to help soften the road noise and to make it a more pleasant park-like public space in front of the library.

While we know that Hampstead has other pavilions throughout the town that our community is fortunate to have, the pavilion here at the public library will offer abundant parking, accessible bathrooms, and a variety of programming. Our youth services librarian can quickly wheel a cart out to the front lawn to set up our story time for many families in the safe and protected pavilion without needing to pack her vehicle and drive to a different pavilion. Weekly story times and programs are attended by multigenerational visitors, so we want to offer a gathering space for all ages.  Visitors who attend our outdoor book groups, yoga and stretching health classes, and other programs can then come in for restrooms and browse for books and entertainment. We’re looking forward to being able to offer a safe, comfortable, and weather-protected space for the Hampstead community.

As always, we appreciate your continued support as we build for the future of the Town and the Library.

Sincerely,

Rosemary Krol, Library Director

Natalie Gallo, Chairperson of Hampstead Library Board of Trustees

Hampstead Public Library would like to thank our Business and Organization Sponsors. See current list as an attachment below.