Canton Public Library 

Building Renovation Project


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  Goals and Vision Statement

The Mission of the Canton Public Library is to provide every citizen of Canton with access to intellectual, cultural, and recreational resources and opportunities, to inform and enrich individuals, support educational success, encourage community participation, and preserve Canton’s unique heritage.


The Canton Public Library Building Renewal Program directly addresses the Library’s mission by relieving the severe limitations to service imposed by the present building.  The program will not only expand physical space but also extend service capabilities to benefit all members of the community.

Two ground-level entrances will facilitate physical access.  A full service elevator to each of three levels will remove the worst barrier presently confronting individuals with limited mobility.  Furnishings and equipment, shelving and aisles will be designed for ease of use and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  There will be accessible public rest rooms on both main levels.

Parents with young children will no longer be confronted with stairs or a long inclement walk to the Junior Library.  Ample well-lit parking will be near new entrance at the tree lined rear of the building.  Broad windows capturing the afternoon sun will create a bright, homey environment.   From the central service desk, Library staff will monitor security in all areas of the Junior Library including bathrooms and exits. 

Pre-schoolers, early readers and middle-school students will enjoy distinct areas appointed with materials and furnishings appropriate to their age and interests.  All shelving will be height accessible to children, with expanded capacity for this much used collection.  A play island will provide a stimulating environment for toddlers to safely explore their physical world and exercise their creativity.  Wide, comfortable chairs will provide cozy space for parents to read aloud.  A separate room within the Junior Library will be be available for story hours, craft programs, after school meetings, group projects, hobby clubs, and student volunteer activities.  There will be display space available for children to exhibit their own creations. Elementary and middle-school students will be encouraged to study or work on written assignments at tables or carrels. Eight computer and multimedia workstations will be available to reinforce the use of technology introduced in the school curriculum.  None of these services can be adequately provided, if at all, within the severe space limitations of the present Junior Library.

Teens will have space to call their own on the main level, with casual areas acoustically separate from those used for quiet study.  A Homework Center with computers and research materials will be staffed during afterschool hours.

The renewed building will afford the adult library user a variety of functional locations to best suit his or her needs.  The expanded Reference Department, supported by an extended non-fiction collection, will service the needs of various types of researchers.  Access to the Internet, on-line and in-house databases, will be accessed from any of an ample number of computer workstations.  The Computer Center will allow networked computers to be used for group training as well as for a variety of personal applicationsCollege students home from school will be able to access their college library and check their e-mail.  An area devoted to the needs of our business and finance clientele will be re-instituted in a quiet area designed for focused research.  The Canton historical collection will be located in a secure but accessible area for genealogical and local research. For personal study or small group discussion, study rooms will provide private, undisturbed workspace. 

Patrons looking for the latest best seller or just a good read will be invited to casually browse a bright open lobby near the main entrance where recent titles will be attractively displayed.  Artists, artisans, and collectors will exhibit their art under the domed vestibule and other areas.  Adjacent reading rooms will afford cozy refuge for quiet readers.  Seniors will enjoy magazines, large-print titles, and relaxed sitting areas far from the bustle of students and the hum of computers. New office space, totally lacking presently, will supply employment opportunities for senior and student volunteers from the community.

Space for organized community activities will also be an essential element of the expanded building. A fully accessible 144-seat Community Room will accommodate a wide range of popular activities. Community theater, musical recitals, coffeehouses, speakers, seminars, will all be possible.  A kitchenette will be used for preparing refreshments for community functions. A soundproof divider will double the number of programs or meetings that can be held concurrently. The present Meeting Room will also be used for informal or untidy activities such as art and craft workshops, book sales, scout meetings, etc.  A formal Conference Room will also be available.  The availability and versatility of these rooms will relieve the lack of meeting and function space town-wide. All town organizations, clubs, committees and boards will be welcome. 

The renewed Library building will be an expression of community pride. The exterior will blend with and complement the architectural style of the present building and will anchor and reinforce the downtown revitalization themes. Function and aesthetics will be inseparable design elements that support the goals and reflect the enduring values of public library service in Canton.


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