Saturday, August 11, 2018

484 Royalton Memorial Library, South Royalton, VT

After visiting the smallest library in Vermont, we drove home to Concord, NH, in a rather roundabout way in order to visit the Royalton library. A year or two ago, I stopped at a highway rest stop on Route 89 and found volunteers from Royalton talking about the library and raising funds. I was intrigued by a library that would make the effort for such a public outreach to travellers, and decided I needed to visit. This year I had the chance.

I found a handsome brick building and a vibrant staff eager for changes. The library has some issues. It is not accessible by ADA standards (look at those stairs!) and there is not enough space for the kinds of programs libraries now offer. I found a video about the library on Facebook and saw that amazing programming is being offered despite the limitations. This is clearly a library that deserves some help. I strongly recommend going to the Facebook site at and watching the video.

I understand that a bond has passed that would allow the renovations that are needed. But there is another side to the story, an alternative solution that appeals to some in the community: Build a new library. It's understandable. New buildings are wonderful, shiny, exciting. But old buidings have their own character, they provide historic continuity. If they still meet a need, it can be environmentally sound to re-use rather than build new. And in this case, the building is a registered historic site in Vermont.

Here is part of the children's area with good natural light from the large windows.

The picture books are in neat bins that allow easy access for small patrons. A few chairs supplement seating on the rug; not everyone wants to sit on the floor!

Exhibits by local artists are changed every couple of months. At the time of my visit, the pictures were rather small for the space where they are displayed. They would reward a closer look.

I didn't try it, but that looks like a very comfortable chair for someone who wants to settle in with a book or newspaper. And I love that natural light!

Another place to relax for a while is here in front of the fireplace. A matching chair to the right was occupied by a youngster totally engrossed with headphones and a book.

At the time of my visit in August 2018, the issue of renovation or new construction had not been settled. So my interest remains strong; I'll keep an eye on Royalton, because I'm interested in knowing how this works out.


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