Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Compromise emerges in Hadley library dispute

Gerald Devine, a Historical Society member, said Friday that the private organization will seek Community Preservation Act funding to help move its items from the library to a home the society owns on West Street.

The group has resisted such a move in the past out of concern the residence lacks adequate display, security, climate controls and handicap access. The society does not have the financial means to renovate the building without a substantial capital campaign, Devine said.

CPA funds could help, he said, allowing the society to leave the space in Goodwin, long sought by Library Trustees for the expansion of library programs.

“It helps everybody,” Devine said.

Jo-Ann Konieczny, a library trustee, welcomed that idea, though she noted it has not been officially presented to the trustees.

She said her board would cooperate with the society and maintain communication with the Select Board, which, she said, will need to decide if the town-owned items displayed on the second floor are to follow the society down West Street.

At the same time, the library is moving ahead work on the first floor. The library is looking to buy a circulation desk with money willed to the library by former Select Board member Kate Nugent.

It is not a given that the Historical Society will receive CPA funding. The organization must go before the CPA Committee and present its proposal. If the committee approves, it then goes to Town Meeting for a vote.

Devine said the society is consulting with a contractor and hopes to present a plan to the CPA Committee in the spring.

“There is so much history in the town of Hadley and we need to do whatever we can to preserve it,” Devine said.

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