Chronicle of a Capital Campaign

Photo chronicle of the Capital Campaign. From receiving the grant in 2011, and prize-winning historian David McCullough speaking to a full-capacity Agricultural Hall to launch the campaign, numerous talented authors speaking to appreciative audiences, musicians playing sold-out venues, to very young volunteers selling lemonade, West Tisbury Library Foundation is truly grateful for all your support.
Click on any of the images below to begin the slideshow.


Foundation seeks funds for essential “Green” features

West Tisbury Library front view

West Tisbury Library front view from parking lot.

When the Foundation reached its goal of $1.5 million earlier this spring, it paved the way for West Tisbury voters to contribute the town’s share of $1.5 million for the library. With the state’s nearly $3 million construction grant secured, the $6+ million library construction funding was complete and the project got the green light. The project is expected to break ground in mid-November.

The current plans will give the library the additional space it has needed for decades: space for a program room, a unified children’s room, and a director’s office, among other things. The plans also contain a host of significant environmental features. However, putting patron services first meant cutting back on several desirable eco-friendly elements. We are now seeking an additional $325,000 to fund three enhancements of major environmental and aesthetic value:

• Parking lot infrastructure that’s safe and protects the water supply and wetlands;
• Healthy and long-lasting hardwood flooring in place of carpeting; and
• Landscaping that provides a harmonious relationship with the surroundings.

We are deeply committed to the safety, health benefits, energy efficiency, environmental protection, and natural beauty these features afford.  So we ask you to join us in finding the money to pay for them.  Contributions of all sizes are needed and welcome.  In addition, there are naming opportunities, for instance in memory of a loved one, in the building itself and in four gardens that we hope to create outside.  Please turn to The Case for a Green Library for descriptions of your donation’s benefits to water supply and wetlands, individual health and safety, energy efficiency, cost savings, and the beauty of our surroundings.


The Case for a Green Library

Landscape arial view.
North view.
West view.
South view.


Protecting the environment is a high priority for the West Tisbury Library expansion project. Resource efficiency, waste reduction, and a healthy environment have been a part of our planning at every step along the way. Minimizing the building’s carbon footprint and its demands on Island resources are just the start; there will be also be significant and ongoing savings in operating and maintenance costs over the years.

Energy efficiency and water-protecting technology have already been designed into the building wherever possible. These features will earn the library LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) from the U.S. Green Building, garnering additional funds from the state and signaling our commitment to environmental care.

But there are three other significant environmental features we could not include under the current budget, features essential to protecting our built and natural environments: an ecologically sensitive parking area, hardwood flooring, and landscaping.

More than a parking lot: A safety net for water

Perhaps surprisingly, parking lot design has a lot to do with water quality as well as patron safety and convenience. The library’s parking lot will be surfaced with a combination of standard impervious asphalt (in the drive lanes) and pervious precast concrete pavers (in the parking areas), with a 12-inch stone underlayment and perimeter “rain gardens.” These features will diminish the “heat island” effect typical of asphalt parking lots. Moreover, they will reduce concentrations of pollutants and promote rapid, more thorough water filtration, ensuring that the delicate web of wetlands and ponds beginning at the end of the library property and running all the way to the great pond and ocean is free of noxious chemicals and other harmful runoff. There will be a total of 56 spaces, 18 for the Howes House and 38 for the Library. Four of those spaces will be handicapped accessible, with pavers smooth enough for a wheelchair or person with disabilities to walk or roll over safely. Both this evenness and the rapid dispersal of water will also facilitate winter plowing and reduce icing.

Hardwood floors: A smart long-term investment

Sustainability, hygienic material, and lower life-cycle costs make hardwood an economical and environmentally sound choice for the library flooring. Flooring accounts for a high percentage of indoor surfacing, and can have a significant effect on indoor air quality. Finished with low-VOC sealants, (volatile organic compounds), hardwood floors contribute to clean air while providing no habitat for molds and funguses (a Vineyard hazard). Moreover, harvested legally and responsibly, the supply of American hardwoods is actually growing, and locally available products incur lower transportation costs and keep the economic benefits nearby. Finally, although the upfront costs of hardwood are substantially higher than commercial carpeting, its costs over a 15-year period are less than half those of the alternatives.

Caring for the earth, tending the gardens

West Tisbury is home to the Agricultural Society, the Polly Hill Arboretum, the Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club, the Farmer’s Market, and numerous family farms and nature preserves. Given our rural heritage it’s fitting that our library, too, should embrace a respect for nature and love of the landscape. The terraces and gardens to the north, east, south and west of the library provide exceptional opportunities to landscape with native plantings, encourage the growth of beneficial local bees and other insect populations, provide shade and break the wind, firm up the earth and aid in filtration, and beautify the surroundings.

These spaces present opportunities for donors with a passion for gardening and landscaping, especially using native materials and species. Each area is an invitation to create a setting, make a statement, and perhaps remember a special person or favorite cause.

There are opportunities for naming in each of the garden areas as well as in the building itself. Please contact the Foundation for details!

A final word: Teaching by example

More than just a collection of materials, a good library is an ongoing, evolving conversation with the community it serves. That conversation asks questions, proposes challenges, and spurs healthy growth. When the library reopens, its staff will have lived through an experience that changes this town institution forever. They’ll be in the unique position to tell the story of every decision, every feature, and the varied reasons for choices made in materials, design and technology.

Our island struggles with the consequences of growth daily, and all construction has a profound impact on the local environment. There are always newer and better ways of building and serving the environment, and having a prominent, publicly accessible example of green construction will be an important resource to owners and builders who would like to explore ways to protect our common home. Our expanded and improved library will be an important teaching resource and living laboratory for the community. Some examples:

• A super-insulated envelope reduces requirements for heating and cooling;
• Composting toilets reduce nitrogen put into the ground;
• Future photovoltaic capacity built into the south-facing roof;
• Skylights and lighting controls improve lighting quality;
• Energy Star appliances reduce energy usage;
• Natural and mechanical ventilation increase occupant comfort;
• VRF heat and air with heat recovery is more efficient than fossil fuel system;
• Low-flow fixtures reduce water consumption 30 – 40% over code;
• Low VOC emitting materials and finishes meet “Green Seal” requirements;
• Recycling and reuse of more than 75% of demolition and construction waste; and
• Rapidly renewable/durable, regional, and recycled materials cut costs and reduce harm to the environment.


West Tisbury Library’s Dollar Tree Grows to Reach Its $1,000 Goal

Dollar Tree reaches its goal

West Tisbury Library’s Dollar Tree grows to Reach Its $1000 Goal

The West Tisbury Library Foundation, Inc. announced this week that their “Dollar Tree” campaign had reached its thousand-dollar goal in less than a year.

In November of 2011, an anonymous donor offered to match every $1 donation given to the West Tisbury Library Foundation, Inc., up to the amount of $1,000. Each donation added a leaf, inscribed with the donor’s name, to a tree on the library wall. The challenge was inspired by the campaign to renovate and expand the West Tisbury Free Public Library, and the “dollar tree” was to benefit the new Children’s Room.

“The Dollar Tree has flourished and borne fruit,” said Foundation chair Hunter Moorman this week. “Dollar by dollar, we’ve more than reached our target. It’s living proof that even the smallest donations count.”

“The original donor’s intention was to encourage the participation of families with children,” said library director Beth Kramer. “The hope was that they could feel excited about the library, and about giving to the library. But even families with grown children were encouraged to participate. There are whole generations of people on the Island who have fond memories of the West Tisbury Library as children.”

The West Tisbury Library is on schedule to break ground in November. The start of the project will be celebrated at a party at the Grange on November 17, to thank the community for its support. Construction should last about a year, during which the library will be open in temporary quarters across from Conroy’s Apothecary.

Message from the Chairman

Dear Website Visitor,

Great news!  Just before the Labor Day weekend, a very generous family and great library supporters offered us a wonderful challenge grant: They will match each dollar donated to our “green” campaign fund from now until October 1 up to a total of $35,000!  These funds are very much needed in order to include key eco-friendly features in the new library construction.  It’s a great chance to double your contribution and put these key elements in place!

After a year of accomplishment, which saw private, town, and state funds together put the library’s $6.055 million construction budget “in the bank,” no one is taking a breather.  Ground breaks on the expanded, renovated library in November.  By that time, the library will have moved to its temporary quarters; space will be cut back, but essential services will continue.  The Foundation’s focus shifts from construction fund-raising to the “green” campaign and monies needed to pay for native landscaping, hardwood flooring, and a parking lot filtration system, all of which reflect our town’s commitment to economical, efficient, healthy, and eco-friendly operation.

Please take a moment to become familiar with our “green” campaign, review the new library plans, and read about the wonderful $35,000 matching challenge.  I hope you’ll be moved to then click on the Donate button or get in touch with me.  I’d be delighted to talk with you!

We thank all who have donated and gotten us to this point.  If you can possibly make a further donation now, we will be deeply grateful.  If you have not made a prior donation, please consider becoming one of our valued supporters now.  THANK YOU for your help in making our library, our community, and our Island an even more special place to live and visit.

Hunter Moorman


Friends Take the Cake

(Shown: Book sale coordinator Lee Revere and Friends President Susan Wasserman, with the Friends’ birthday cake.)

At their annual meeting on August 31, the Friends of the West Tisbury Library were presented with a surprise birthday cake to celebrate the organization’s 30th anniversary.

The anniversary comes at a propitious moment in the library’s history. In July of this year, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners announced that West Tisbury would receive a $2.98 million grant to help pay for renovation and expansion of the library building it has severely outgrown.

Library director Beth Kramer said the grant would never have happened were it not for the design work funded by the Friends, who gave more than $103,000 to pay for the architect and owner’s project manager required by the state grant process. To date, the project has cost the town virtually nothing.

The project is estimated to cost $6 million, and the West Tisbury Library Foundation, Inc. is conducting a capital campaign with a goal of $1.5 million.

The Vineyard Gazette | September 9, 2011

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