We’re lucky enough to have two beautiful, historical Town Hall buildings in our Valley. Warren and Moretown both have their historical Town Halls intact. Waitsfield has the Joslin Memorial Library – recently renovated and upgraded thanks to grants and community donations.
Warren’s Town Hall hosts the Warren Public Library on its second floor. That’s why we’re intrigued by the idea of the Moretown Memorial Library relocating – either permanently or temporarily – to the Moretown Town Hall.
The Moretown Memorial Library board of trustees has been discussing the idea with the town select board since last winter and it was the subject of discussion at Town Meeting this year as well.
It could be a great thing to revitalize and rejuvenate and reinvigorate Moretown’s Town Hall. How amazing it could be to have the building not just open to the public on a much more regular basis but, more importantly, used by the public regularly.
There are legitimate concerns about costs associated with upgrading and/or renovating the building as well as legitimate concerns about increased utility costs if the building is used year-round. Some are concerned about the possible loss of revenue from renting out the Town Hall for events.
But those financial considerations could be addressed the same way Waitsfield addressed its library renovation through grants and fundraising. And who knows? Hosting an anniversary or birthday party in a hip library setting might be incredibly attractive to people. What if it became a source of revenue for the town after renovation and installing the library?
Change is hard – just look at the struggle to determine how to move forward with redesigning our school district – but this could be the one positive solution for the Moretown Town Hall and the town’s library, which has become a community hub.
The Moretown Library along with the Joslin Memorial Library and the Warren Public Library are vital centerpieces of community engagement in The Valley. They work singularly and collaboratively to promote reading, learning, participation and community for all their members.
To upgrade the Moretown Library and the Moretown Town Hall together, to improve the library for patrons (and others from The Valley who attend joint library events) could breathe new life into the Town Hall and bring Moretown residents back into it with regularity. And that might be great.