Coolidge Corner Renovation
The objective of this page is to keep the community informed and involved in the progress of the renovation of the Coolidge Corner Library.
The Library is located in the heart of Coolidge Corner. It has long been the busiest branch library in the state. Due to the heavy usage and age of the building, it is struggling to fully meet the needs of the community it serves. Over the last several years, the Children’s Room has been slightly updated and expanded, and new bathrooms were created from an underutilized custodial closet. The meeting room is heavily used but is not fully handicap accessible. The mezzanine has been closed for decades due to its lack of accessibility. There is only one program room, limited computer access, and many acoustical issues which negatively impact the patron experience.
The Trustees and Library Director began investigating the current and future needs of the Coolidge Corner Library in 2014. They decided to research the possibility of an overhaul to the Library. In November, 2014, Town Meeting voted $50,000 to fund further investigation of possible improvements. This money was used to hire Schwartz Silver architects to assess the options of continuing library service in situ or moving to a new building in a new location.
In addition, in 2014, the Brookline Library Foundation funded a consultant to write a building program. A building program is a carefully-prepared document used to communicate details about the Library and its space requirements to future architects, engineers, and builders. The building program is rooted in the Library’s long-range plan. It is based on the community’s 20-year projected population and its demography, social trends, and economic factors. It analyzes the current Library building conditions and provides information about space requirements that must be met effectively in the facility’s design in order to deliver the level of library and information services outlined in the long-range plan for two decades into the future. The completed building program is available here
). Paper copies are available for check-out at the Coolidge Corner Library.
At the time, the building program recommended a new building on a new site. However, the community was opposed to giving up their much beloved building and location. The project was put on hold for reconsideration.
The Trustees and Library Director worked hard to determine how many identified shortfalls from the building plan could be addressed in the context of the current buildings footprint.
Some of the most important needs identified in the building plan are:
- Not enough seating
- Bookshelves too crowded and disorganized
- Poor wayfinding
- Lack of accessibility to the program room
- Too noisy
- General feeling that the building is tired and dirty
We realized that, although the quest for funding for a major renovation had failed, we might be able to address some of the most urgent concerns with a mid-sized renovation.
The project will contain 5 major components:
- Envelope improvements: a new roof, repointing bricks, replacement of the 1970 skylight and windows
- Noise mitigation: the Children’s Room will be expanded by 448 square feet and completely enclosed in glass, reducing the amount of noise escaping from the Children’s Room into the larger building and making the room safer for little patrons
- Accessibility improvements: there will be an elevator from the main level to the program room and a second elevator from the main level to the mezzanine
- Increased seating: the front offices will be demolished and the service desk will be dramatically reduced in size; all staff work areas will move up to the mezzanine, and new comfortable seating will be added throughout the building.
- Cosmetic improvements: all new paint, carpets, and signage; the garden in the atrium will be completely redesigned and replanted.
We will also be upgrading our self check technology, increasing internet speed, adding more computers, and moving the collections so that our most popular items are the easiest to access.
The Library will be open through end of business on Saturday, June 2, 2018. The project is scheduled to take about six months. In the interim, there will be a small satellite Library across the street at Sussman House, and the Brookline Village and Putterham Libraries will increase their summer hours to serve our patrons with less disruption.
If you are interested in hearing more about the project, please join us at the Coolidge Corner Library for one of the following tours or public meetings:
- Saturday, April 28 at 2 PM
- Sunday, April 29 at 10 AM
- Sunday, May 6 at 11 AM
- Thursday, May 10 at 7 PM
This project was made possible through generous funding from:
The Trustees of the Public Library of Brookline
The Brookline Library Foundation
The Friends of the Brookline Public Library
The Town of Brookline
Stay tuned to this page for more information. We welcome your input; please share your ideas via the community response email: firstname.lastname@example.org