Farmington Public Library raising funds for new furnace

Barbara Marshall, Farmington Public Library board chairman, describes recent changes made including the addition of shelving for books on tape, given in memory of Susan Phillips.

By Ann Bryant, Staff Writer

FARMINGTON — Some changes, made over the last couple years, at the Farmington Public Library were designed to make the most and best use of the space.

Now, a current need for heat and cooling of the large, granite building is being addressed with a similar creative approach.

A $16,000 furnace is needed, Barbara Marshall, board chairman, said. But, a total of $21,000 would pay for the furnace to heat the library over the winter months and heat pumps to help bring temperatures down through the summer months.

The plan is to raise $7,000 from the community, she said. In addition, the Tom Marshall family has made a unique, incentive pledge to give twice the amount of every donation from the community up to $7,000. That means every donation goes three-times as far.

Over the past week, the furnace drive has already raised $1,000 from community members but with the incentive pledge that makes $3,000 towards the $21,000 goal, she said.

“It is nice to give to something that will make a difference for so many years,” she said.

Barbara Marshall, Farmington Public Library board chairman, describes recent changes made including the addition of shelving for books on tape, given in memory of Susan Phillips.

(Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)

In addition, space has been allotted for local artists displays. The artists can display and sell their work while providing one piece for the library to raffle, she said.

Every couple months, a raffle on different items is set up at different locations to help reach out to people who don’t visit the library, she said.

After an oak tree, planted on the library grounds in honor of the 50th birthday, needed to be cut down, board member Joe Rankin took some of the wood and created bowls.

A raffle on one bowl is now taking place at Up Front And Pleasant.

When Creative Wood Products of Maine, Inc., learned about the furnace drive, wooden items were brought in and a silent auction set up in the lobby.

Grant applications have been submitted to both the Tabitha and Stephen King Foundation and the Gladys Brooks Foundation but awards will not be announced until later this year, she said. There is no guarantee the library will receive either grant so other methods of fundraising were needed.

A lighter, cooler space for computer use at the Farmington Public Library is more user friendly.

(Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)

During routine maintenance on the furnace, Librarian Maurie Stockford was told that it needed replacing before the next heating season. After seeking bids, a furnace replacement bid was awarded to Webster Heating.

The plan includes installation of heat pumps on the second floor to cool during the summer and augment heat during the winter.

The historic granite library typically sees more than 34,000 patron visits over the year. On a typical summer day, up to 250 people visit the library, Stockford said.

The granite absorbs the heat from the outside and releases it inside during the summer. It is not uncommon for temperatures to reach 90 degrees and stay there even when it is cooler outside, she said. Computers also release heat.

As part of the better spacing design, computers were moved from the second floor to the basement level, in to the former children’s room.

It had more computer connectivity, which was not being used, and was close by for computer help from librarians. It seemed to make sense, Stockford said.

A new Children’s Room was created at Farmington Public Library from a space used by staff only. Lynnette Hinkley promotes summer reading by bringing her grandchildren, from left, Tucker Noles, Gracie Noles and Maggie Noles.

(Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)

The room now makes water and coffee available for patrons and is much more user friendly, Marshall said.

A redesign of space helped eliminate unused space and provide for the best use of it, Stockford said.

“It was like a puzzle….bringing all the pieces together,” she said of the two year project. “People have been receptive. We get a lot of compliments especially about how child friendly it is and how much we have for kids to do.”

A Genealogy Room was converted in to a Teen-Young Adult Room; a staff room in to a new children’s room and Stockford even found a new, small space to do her work.

New shelving was added and some furniture moved. There are a few more tweaks to make, Marshall said.

To help with the furnace drive, donations may be sent to the library at 117 Academy St., Farmington, ME 04938. A gofundme page is available,

Maggie Noles finds a book to show her grandmother, Lynnette Hinkley, in the new Teen-Young Adult Room at Farmington Public Library. Siblings, Gracie Noles and Tucker Noles are pictured in front.

(Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)

A silent raffle of items given by Creative Wood Products of Maine, Inc., was set up in the lobby of Farmington Public Library to help with the furnace fund.

(Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)

The larger wooden bowl, made by Joe Rankin, is being raffled at Up Front and Pleasant to benefit the furnace fund at Farmington Public Library.

(Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)



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