Letter to Barrington

To All Citizens of the Town of Barrington

As President of the Barrington Library Foundation, I greet you all with the genuine hope that you, your family and your friends have been well, and you have found satisfactory ways to contend with the strain and strangeness of life during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first couple of weeks of March 2019 had a tsunami-like feel with the crash of the oil market, the recognition of a new and scary virus and the beginning of the stock market’s crazy, rocky slide. Some here in Barrington experienced another wave with the failure of the Library warrant article achieving a super majority. By now, many of us have likely by now taken a step back wrap our minds around much of what has taken place in our lives, community and the entire world since those first weeks of March.

The Library Trustees have worked with Library staff to provide library resources and services when and however safely possible to our library patrons and citizens during the pandemic. The Trustees have also had conversations and meetings with the Town Administrator, the chair of the Select Board, Foundation leadership and our dedicated architect Jason LaCombe of SMP Architects. At the July Trustee meeting the Trustees voted unanimously to postpone bringing a third warrant article for a new library until March 2022.

Discussions leading to this postponement could be described as innovative, fair, empathetic, reality-based and full of brainstorming. Reality, at this time, seems to dictate a new vision for our town’s library: a smaller building at less cost and flexibility in the design to accommodate new ways of being a town library. The postponement will provide time to continue this process and bring new voices, perhaps not previously heard well, to the table. The Foundation will provide leadership in this regard.

One of the most important elements of this message is to let all members of the Barrington Community know their concerns about the project have been heard. Over the coming months, the Trustees, architect and construction manager will develop new design concepts that will contain refinements and compromises of our previous plans. Trustee and Foundation members can assure that it will be a beautiful building that will meet many of the needs of the Town for several decades or more into the future.

The Foundation will also continue to solicit additional funding from sources that range from federal, state and private foundation grants and, of course, from local businesses and individuals. Obviously, the current personal stress of the COVID-19 rampage and its effect on Barrington citizens, local businesses and NH state resources has and will continue to tailor our approach and timing.

Communication continues to be an important part of this project. The Trustees and Foundation will continue to hold public meetings to foster transparency about the project. We welcome everyone to participate in these meetings and make their thoughts heard. The Foundation will continue to post updates to the Foundation’s website such as upcoming events and fundraising amounts. The Foundation and Trustees will also be active at Select Board meetings and other avenues to reach as many citizens as possible. The Foundation occasionally sends out newsletters so if you are interested in being added to this contact-list, please reach out to me or anyone from the Trustees or Foundation.

Finally, let me reassure all of you that Lindsey Maziarz, Chair of the Barrington Public Library Trustees, along with all of the Trustees, Library staff and the Foundation are very positive, enthused and filled with hope that our goal is reachable. We hope that the Barrington community can get behind and support a revised building model and that a new library will be seen as a treasured space in this town. Please reach out to me and the Foundation through the Contact Us Form to ask any questions or express any concerns.

We thank all our supporters more than we can express for participating in a partnership that is unprecedented in the history of Barrington!

Roger Gingrich, President of the Barrington Public Library Foundation

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