PATTEN FREE LIBRARY is two-thirds to its $325,000 fundraising goal to upgrade its teen space and reference room.

PATTEN FREE LIBRARY is two-thirds to its $325,000 fundraising goal to upgrade its teen space and reference room.


Since 2012, Patten Free Library has steadily increased programming and services for teens residing in its five-town service area. Now Library Director Lesley Dolinger hopes that five years of steady program growth will culminate in 2018 with a planned renovation and relocation of the Teen Space. The library has raised $215,000 of its $325,000 fundraising goal, and is taking its campaign public in the hope to reach that target by year end.

“The current teen space is a small, open, oblong area outside the non-fiction stacks,” says Dolinger. “It has one outlet, no technology, and limited seating. It gets crowded and noisy as soon as more than one or two teens congregate. Given the growth of the teen presence and programs in the library in recent years, we know it is time to give this age group a state-of-the-art room in the library to call its own.”

The renovation plan involves creating an enclosed, multi-level space within the Library that will provide a safe and comfortable after-school destination for teens in grades 6-12. In addition to state-of-the-art technology, the room will have versatile furniture and equipment so that the room can be used for instruction, programming, quiet study, or socializing. Adult patrons will also benefit from an associated redesign of the Reference Room; the upgraded space will include a new small conference room that can be used for meetings, tutoring, and one-on-one instruction.

“This new teen space will enhance our ability to serve young adults ,” said Roberta Jordan, the outreach and instruction librarian for Patten, and the coordinator of teen programs. We’ve come a long way since 2012, when we had just a handful of teens participating in just a few programs. In 2017, over 1,900 teens participated in library programs, were the beneficiary of library instruction, or participated in Teen Library Council events and activities. With a new space, we can do even more.”

Interested donors can see more detailed project plans and make a gift through an information and donation portal at project or by contacting Development Director Samantha Ricker at [email protected]

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