At Wednesday night's regular meeting of the Hudson Area Library Board of Trustees, Theresa Parsons confirmed two things: that she was stepping down as president but would remain on the board; and that the Register-Star building was being considered as a possible location for the library, although she said, rather enigmatically, "As far we're concerned, today, we're moving to the Armory."
The Register-Star building, acquired last month by the Galvan Initiatives Foundation, has been offered by Galvan to the library, and members of the library board took a guided tour of the building recently with Register-Star publisher and former library trustee Roger Coleman. Mark Young, one of the trustees who took the tour, reported that "we can't tell by looking at the building if it would be an appropriate space for the library," so the board has requested a schematic to show how the space in the Register-Star building might be used for a library. A similar schematic has already been created for the Armory. Young revealed that the schematics were being done by an architect named John O'Connell. A little sleuthing discovered that John O'Connell of OConnell Architecture in Arlington, MA, designed the interior space at Young's restaurant, Mexican Radio.
Meanwhile, the library board has hired Kim Cullin, a library design consultant, to conduct focus groups in the community. The information gathered from these focus groups will used to develop a program that the architect will use to design the space. Parsons described the process as "the conversion of our vision into something an architect can use." The library has scheduled ten focus groups, and so far only twenty people have agreed to participate. For this exercise to have meaning, more people need to be involved. Registration for focus groups continues through Saturday, March 17, and can be done in person at the library, by phone (828-1792), or online. See the library's website for more information.
As the library board sees the decision-making process, they will consider the information from the focus groups, the schematics for both buildings, and other factors such as maintenance costs and will choose the building they want to be in. This doesn't quite jibe with what Galvan executive director Tom Swope said on @Issue last week. Swope suggested the possibility that the Armory might be put to some commercial use and, when expressing the foundation's commitment to providing a "new 21st-century home for the Hudson Area Library," indicated that the location chosen would have to be one that the library board agreed to.