Ilsley 100 Community Updates from Jim Gish

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Progress Toward a New and Improved Ilsley Library

December 1, 2022

Your Ilsley 100 Project Team has been busy this Fall!

During the past several weeks, the 10-person team that has been charged with recommending a plan of action for the future of Ilsley Public Library has:

  • Reviewed the many pressing needs of our nearly 100-year-old library building;
  • Created a preliminary plan for renovating and expanding Middlebury’s library, one that draws equally on input from the community, from the professional library staff, and a review of current best practices; and
  • Shared the results of our work to date with the community in four public presentations that took place in the Ilsley community meeting room, via Zoom, with the MESA parent organization at Mary Hogan, and at the Eastview retirement community.

The Zoom information session was recorded and is now available on the Ilsley YouTube channel, where you can watch library director Dana Hart, Ilsley Library Board of Trustees president Joe McVeigh, and me walk you through the project update. You can also review the presentation slides here.

What We’re Hearing

I thought you might be interested in some of the feedback that we’ve heard during these information-sharing sessions:

  • An overwhelming desire to make the library more accessible, especially for people with mobility issues.
  • The critical role the library plays for children and teens and the need to design spaces that support these age groups.
  • The necessity of designing a building that can accommodate changing technology for decades to come.
  • The value of the library’s partnership with Middlebury Community Television.
  • The need for outdoor programming space, especially in light of the pandemic.
  • A strong commitment to getting off fossil fuels and designing a more sustainable library building.

The Ilsley 100 team is keen to hear YOUR feedback so please be in touch to let us know what you think of the future direction of your library.

Next Steps

We’re currently developing costs for various options for renovating the library and expanding our library services and will be holding another set of public meetings in early 2023.

Questions or comments, send them my way at

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