Alice Swift: A vision for the Jones

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Please vote ‘Yes’ for renovating and expanding the Jones Library at the Amherst Town Election on Nov. 2. This construction project has been badly needed for years.

I have a vision of a new, enlarged, and renovated Jones Library which would be accessible and inviting to people of all ages and backgrounds. Consider the varied populations served by the library — families with young children, people who have difficulty walking or climbing stairs, those with limited eyesight, low-income residents, students and others needing computer access, and immigrants learning English or studying to become citizens. Certainly, also think of the general public who have been using the library for many years but have become frustrated by its poor condition and confusing layout.

I would like a library with more space for public programs, ESL tutoring and classes, and computer workstations, which are increasingly needed for remote learning and jobs, but not affordable for everyone. It would be nice to have restrooms just down a hallway, not downstairs and hidden away. The stacks should certainly be accessible to everyone. Let’s provide space for children on just one floor, not as they are currently with rooms on two floors. In addition, teenagers need attractive spaces of their own with comfortable furniture and the possibility of having music that doesn’t impinge on others. We also need an overhaul of the special collections room so that artifacts from history are not lost.

I’m sure that if we merely repair the old library, it would be like new, attractive, and satisfactory for a few years, but let’s include what we need to take us into the future.

Alice Swift