Pelham Public Library seeks redesign plan to accommodate community needs


The Town of Pelham Public Library has announced a planning process for the redesign of the facility. The library board of trustees is seeking to develop or redesign the building’s space to house more people for programs such as story time and to add more study areas for community members, according to a Dec. 12 press release. 

The board of trustees selected HMA2 Architects and Plan A Architects to conduct a study to determine what the Pelham community wants from the library, different ways to fulfill those needs and their costs. The effort was funded through donations to the library and is expected to be finished by early summer. 

The current space houses a children’s book/playroom, two study areas, young adult and adult book collections and a meeting room.

On a sunny day, the library can expect as many as 140 participants at story time, which is hosted outside due to the library’s limited space, according to Director Augusta Turner. There is also demand from the community for more study spaces for students seeking to work individually or in groups.

“Even before Covid, but especially throughout this pandemic, we have seen demand for library services grow,” said Board President Catherine Campbell in the press release. “With the master plan process, the board is excited to explore new ways to expand and improve the library’s space and offerings to benefit all.” 

The Village of Pelham had initially opened a library in the basement of Hutchinson Elementary School, but due to a small budget, the services offered were minimal. The Junior League of Pelham spearheaded a plan to create a library for the entire town and New York’s first new public library in 50 years, according to Making It Happen: A Small Town Builds Its Own Library in American Libraries Magazine. Members of the Junior League formed the Friends of the Town of Pelham Public Library to raise more than $2 million and move the library into a renovated church, its current location. In 1995, the ribbon was cut at the opening of the Town of Pelham’s new library.

“The library is an institution that meets the needs of everyone in Pelham,” said Turner. “We offer things from birth to seniors. It is something for everyone.”