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Tilton Library seeks grant to plan future

SOUTH DEERFIELD — The Tilton Library is applying for a state planning and design grant to study its needs.

Library Director Sara Woodbury said the town’s public library at 75 North Main St. could receive up to $50,000 from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

The state board specializes in assistance to communities in developing public libraries through renovation and expansion of existing facilities or construction of new building.

The study could offer ideas on how the library could expand, Woodbury said.

Right now, when the library offers programs, its primary library services like book circulation and computer use are affected. This inhibits part of the library’s long range planning goals to increase its programs.

The library collection is also limited by the building, Woodbury said. When the library adds new books, it must also withdraw books to create space. The two-floor library currently has about 25,000 books and electronic media and offers three computers for public use.

“It will be a study of what our needs are, and we’d go forward from there,” Woodbury said.

While many libraries have been faced with declining circulation in recent years, Woodbury said Deerfield’s library is seeing an increase.

In 2008, a total 39,799 items were borrowed from the library. In 2012, the circulation rose to 56,062 items borrowed.

Part of the increase is due to circulation of electronic materials.

The 4,300-square-foot building was originally constructed in 1916. In 1997, a small addition, including a handicap-accessible entrance and a library office were added to the south side of the building.

The library will find out in June if it receives any funding.

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