A good place to begin is by asking what is motivating the "bigger is better" philosophy in downtown Amherst. Ask your friends and neighbors what kind of public library they want and what they think Amherst residents can afford given the 4-6 capital projects on the town's priority list. Consider what the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Town's resources. Find out if others believe it's important for the town of Amherst to retain some historic character and if they consider the Jones Library a unique landmark worth keeping.
Then consider if the Demolition-Expansion of the Jones Library goes forward, the town's most unique landmark is in jeopardy. The cookie-cutter design of the Demolition-Expansion means that upon entering the Jones Library, it would appear like many other public libraries across the country.
In the end, what happens at Jones Library will reflect how residents want development to go forward in Amherst. Do residents want downtown Amherst to feel generic or to reflect the unique character of the town? Is it important to residents that Amherst "walk the talk" on sustainability? If so, unnecessary demolition is inconsistent with sustainability goals.
The truth is most of the burden of paying for an unnecessary and extravagant expansion of Jones Library would be carried by taxpayers. Library Trustees have already spent money to "sell" the Demolition-Expansion to the public. Between FY15 and FY17, Financial Development Agency (FDA), headed by Matt Blumenfeld, had a contract with Jones Library and was paid $51,592 to promote and market the Jones Library building project. Resident voices will need to be loud to be heard above this marketing campaign.
"The greenest building is the one that's already built."
~ Carl Elefante, architect and sustainability expert
What You Can Do
Voice your support and help persuade others that renovation instead of demolition of Jones Library is the better way forward.
Share this website with FRIENDS, neighbors, and fellow Jones Library patrons concerned about the Library's fate.
Share your views with JONES LIBRARY TRUSTEES. Email:
Share your views with TOWN MANAGER, Paul Bockelman:
Share your views with TOWN COUNCILORS. Click here to contact Amherst Town Council members.
Submit a LETTER to the Editor to: