Message from the Board President on recent statements during election season

Message from the Board President on recent statements during election season:

The Winter Park Library has been brought up in email blasts, social media posts, and statements during this election season.  The Board of Trustees and the library staff enthusiastically support the new library and are looking forward to opening to the public in the Fall of 2021. The City of Winter Park has been a great partner during this process. However, the City Commission, and not the Library’s Board, has always had final approval for the construction budget and design.  

As an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Winter Park Library has operated for over 135 years in a mutually beneficial partnership with the City of Winter Park and its citizens. The City of Winter Park generously pays two-thirds of the operating expenses of the Library (rent and salaries) with the Library Board of Trustees overseeing the task of raising money one-third of the money from the private sector and area businesses through the Library’s Annual Fund that pays for the collection, curriculum and programming enjoyed by our patrons.

This partnership ensures that the design of the new Library will deliver exactly what our patrons expect and program demands: a new facility that protects our historical archive, houses expanded and updated technology to meet 21st century demands, provides more collection space, and allows for increased attendance at popular classes and events.

We appreciate the time and attention the City Commission and engaged residents invested in making this an excellent project for the residents of Winter Park. The new library design is flexible and innovative with nearly 30% more collection space and more technology and study spaces to connect and learn. The adjacent Events Center will provide a venue for larger library events like book festivals, author talks, and children’s presenters.

Here are some of the features of the new library:

NEW

  • A library commons to read & socialize
  • A large raked theatre for speakers’ series, live performances, films & presentations
  • Three collaborative rooms with the technologies needed for productive group work
  • A remote work station for entrepreneurs and creatives
  • Purposeful social spaces near age-appropriate book collections
  • A computer lab with the newest software
  • Eight small private study rooms
  • A new automated system for returning items

IMPROVED

  • An upgraded technology lab loaded with 3D printers, graphic design software, digitization equipment, and a recording studio
  • Nearly 30% more collection space
  • Expanded history & archive areas with more research space and a new climate-controlled space for cherished historical materials
  • A 2.5x larger storytime room and learning space for children and their families
  • More easily accessible shelving
  • More reader seating

On January 27, 2020, the City Commission voted to approve the library and events center Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) and to begin construction. The Board of Trustees and library staff fully supported this vote.

Every Commissioner expressed their deep belief in the Library’s critical importance to the community along with their desire to construct a fantastic library that meets residents’ needs. We are grateful to our elected officials for being library advocates wholeheartedly committed to working with the City to ensure that the completed library will be an educational and cultural asset for all our residents.

We look forward to hearing from our candidates for Mayor and our community about their vision for the services, classes, and activities provided in the new Library when we open this fall.

With new opportunities to connect people and amplify learning, we will create even more impactful, high-quality content for the whole community.

Sincerely,
Lawrence Lyman
President