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POLL: Should the Mary Cheney Library Be Expanded?

The Board of Directors have had their say, and voters will have theirs in November, but we want to know how you feel about the issue right now!

Earlier this week, the Board of Directors to expand the Mary Cheney Library on Main Street to a November referendum. 

But that is far from the end of the issue. Registered voters in town will be the ones who ultimately decide the fate of the project, come Election Day on Nov. 6 later this year. 

Supporters of a larger library point to the fact that , but that the Mary Cheney Library - by far the busiest of the town's two libraries - is only 26,000-square feet in size and was last renovated in the 1960s. 

While point to the price tag or argue that it would encroach on Center Memorial Park, which functions as the town green and a popular neighborhood area for sledding in the winter, and cite numerous other areas in town where a new library could be built to accommodate all the town's needs without the controversy. 

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But Patch wants to know what you think? Do you support or oppose the $12.5 million expansion of the ? Vote in our poll below and then please share your opinion on the issue in the comments section below. 

Leandra Manos June 15, 2012 at 03:08 AM
As a resident and an educator, I can attest that it would be a sound investment to update and upgrade our town library... I'd be curious to learn how much an expansion at the current site would encroach upon the park, which should also be preserved, but may not be impacted much from a functional perspective depending upon how large of a footprint the expansion plans are. It seems like we could still have a decent, upgraded library at the current site and also enjoy all the activities we currently use the park for.
Rebecca Smith June 15, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Ok, I typed a comment; of course u tell me I hv to join to leave a comment [hate that--y can't I comment on a site w/o "joining"?]; u offer the option of joining thru fb, so I do that, come back here, & my comment is gone. Seems like something's amiss w/ur fb integration. What I said b4 was: I can't tell a thing from that 1 image--it orients me as to size & location of the bldgs not at all. The map didn't appear. I don't see a poll anywhere either. R u optimized for mobile devices? I've wanted a better library in Manchester evr since S. Windsor redid theirs. But I also love the old bldgs & green spaces. Do the former but not at the expense of the latter. I'd like to see a library & a post office near the geographic center of town, which is about @ Broad St. & W. Middle Tpke. [Note that I did not say "Middle Tpk. West"--what's up with those name changes, anyway?]
Piper Vlaar June 15, 2012 at 06:23 AM
There is an earlier article about this with a PDF file attached that shows exactly how much the expansion would encroach upon the park... which is not much. Maybe the author could attach that PDF article here? In my opinion, we need to expand this library and build a third one somewhere in town as well.
David Moran (Editor) June 15, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Leandra, the planned expansion would take up about 1% of the existing green space of the park. I've attached the PDF explaining the expansion to this article, but if you also click on the links in the article it will direct you to previous articles that explain the expansion in more detail. I was trying for brevity here.
David Moran (Editor) June 15, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Thanks for your comment, Rebecca. I've never tried the login through Facebook myself, so I can't speak for it. But there are some issues if you are viewing Patch sits on a mobile phone. I'd suggest you download the Patch app: http://www.patch.com/mobile Or select the "desktop" option if you're viewing on your mobile device.
Susan Barlow June 17, 2012 at 04:53 PM
The $12.5 million plan does not include parking. Where will patrons and staff park? Next step would be to pave a big parking lot right in the park.
Laurie Wonka June 18, 2012 at 02:03 PM
hhmmmm, maybe it could go at the new parkade. Waste some more tax payers money. What is wrong with the library now? The world of ebooks is here, and will just get bigger. There is no need to spend money on a library that will probably be all virtual by 2020 anyway. C'mon people. THINK!
Joyce Hodgson June 18, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Perhaps one of the reasons by the Manchester library is so popular is because other adjacent libraries are not as comprehensive or pleasing. The new Rockville Library may help with that.
DebbieH June 23, 2012 at 12:56 AM
The existing library building is woefully inadequate by all measures! It is not ADA compliant nor does it have adequate space for programming and groups. It doesn't have nearly enough electrical outlets or space for teens, who could benefit the most from library services and programs. Shall I go on? As for the rather ignorant comment about ebooks-- people who actually "THINK" know that a library is not about books, but the ideas and insights contained within their covers. Libraries and Librarians are in the sense-making and life improvement business, not the book business! Borders went out and nobody cared, but if the Mary Cheney Library closed tomorrow there would be rioting in the streets.
Laurie Wonka June 28, 2012 at 04:03 PM
I'm not saying that the library is NOT valuable, it is extremley valuable and librarians even MORE SO. But how about some upgrades?? As for your comment about the library not "being about books" - that is the BASIS of the library no? In 2020 you will not need all the space for books and other media, the need will just NOT be there. EVERYTHING is online NOW!!!!!!! Nevermind what we will have in a few years. As a taxpayer I'd like to see some cuts, not MORE spending. Manchester just wasted a lot of money on the parkade, and will be spending MORE money to create a walkway for the junkies to have easier acess to Center Springs Park.
Bob Hetzel June 30, 2012 at 10:49 PM
The word "library" means books. Literally. Look it up, it's from the Latin "Libris." It does not mean recordings, tapes, VCRs, CDs and DVDs, Just books. Not free computer access, not town-supplied computers (in a comfortable environment, free of distractions) and free parking - all at town expense. The written word, in one form or another, has been around for a long time. Maybe the Dead Seas Scrolls have been digitized, but I would bet it will be a very long time before the 1923 history of Manchester will be. Less well-known books are what libraries are for. When they are gone, so is our history. So let's save the library for the books, and send all that other activity to a more suitable venue. And save that 12.5 million.
Carole O'Brien July 01, 2012 at 03:51 PM
I agree with Bob. Why are tapes, movies and CDs in the library? Take those out and your traffic will decrease and there will be enough parking. A library is for BOOKS. Save our money!
Gwyneth Amy July 01, 2012 at 05:42 PM
People who take out books also like to borrow music, movies and sometimes video games as well. The thriving libraries that I have seen have these and also have a teen room, childrens room, gallery, free wi-fi, computers for use and sometimes even a coffee spot. To have these at our library would be a great asset to the downtown and community. As for parking, there are plenty of parking spaces in downtown. Walking a little to the library shouldn't be an issue and will bring more foot traffic to downtown which will only help the revitalization. It would be best, to have the library parking that is close reserved for families with small children and those who need handicap parking.
Ignat July 01, 2012 at 09:39 PM
There should be a "new" library build. Right in the vacant lot created by the razing of the old Stop & Shop/Bradlee's. There's plenty space for future growth, if needed. With all the retro-fitting of this, that or the other.... there will still be a chorus of complaints.
Richard Lourie Jr July 02, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Leave the park alone, find a blighted area and fix it with a new library
DebbieH July 22, 2012 at 08:13 PM
The term "library" while in variant spellings existed long before Gutenberg printed his bible. If we were having this debate in ancient times, would we be debating the merits of including the scroll or the codex in the library's collection. Ridiculous! The library is an organism that should grow and change according to community needs.
Richard Lourie Jr July 22, 2012 at 08:51 PM
since Mary Cheney was able to donate the land and funds maybe someone else should do the same and leave her legacy alone. As for inadequate, and rioting in the streets our police force is more than agequate for rioters. Here is a better one to think about what if Mary Cheney did not donate all this to the residents of manchester?
Ed Kloehn September 14, 2012 at 09:07 PM
There is a problem in the wording of the above question. I am in favor of an adequately funded brand new library for our town . I am not in favor of a short term ,short sighted "solution" which encroaches on the Park.I would vote to spend the necessary money for a new library elsewhere in town.

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