West Branch Library to Close for Renovations as of November 2018

TAB Building on Holland St. to House Small, Temporary Library Space for Duration of Renovation

SOMERVILLE – Beginning in January 2019, the 109-year-old West Branch Library will undergo renovations to expand and enhance programming and resources, community space, and operations, following a lengthy community process which culminated earlier this year. The West Branch Library will close to the general public in mid-November to provide time for staff to prepare for the renovation. During the temporary closure, a small, temporary branch library location will be available at the Tufts Administration Building, 167 Holland St., 2nd floor, with potential additional locations to be determined at a later date. Note: the temporary space will not offer full programming, but will serve as a physical location for book drop-off and pickup, and other in-person functions.

The Library, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is unable to meet the needs and expectations of the community and staff in its current condition, and will undergo renovations over the course of approximately 18 months beginning in January 2019.

“Somerville is a vibrant community with a rich history, including historic architecture, and it is vital that we protect and preserve our historic landmarks while also providing accessible, inviting spaces for all of our community members,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “I am excited that this long-awaited project will finally be underway, and I know that it will better serve the needs of our community members for years to come.”

The goals of the West Branch Library renovation include interior and exterior improvements, including but not limited to:

§  Construct an accessible entry and install an elevator to meet ADA requirements and accessibility goals

§  Create multipurpose & flexible spaces that can host a variety of library-sponsored programs and events, for all ages, and meeting space for use by the public

§  Maintain & expand children’s programs, designated quiet reading and study areas

§  Modernize systems, improve bathrooms, and renovate the overall interior and exterior

§  Increase educational opportunities, community partnerships, and adult offerings

§  Create a landscape that provides ample green and open space

§  Restore the skylight on the second floor

Renovations are expected to be complete by mid-2020.

“Our community members and library patrons have advocated for many years to see this project happen. The West Branch has served as a much loved facility despite its need for renovations and this project will enable it to provide access to programming and resources to the everyone in the community for generations to come.  I am proud to have been a part of the collaborative process and I look forward to seeing this project come to fruition,” said Ward 6 Alderman Lance Davis.

“It is wonderful to see a commitment to West Branch that is going to offer new spaces and opportunities for it to continue its long tradition of nurturing, comforting, educating, and inspiring Somervillians for generations to come,” said Cathy Piantigini, Acting Director of Libraries.


For updates and additional information about the project, visit www.somervillema.gov/departments/programs/west-branch-library-renovation.

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