EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

July 31, 2013

Trustees look at library expansion

By Paul Tennant

---- — NORTH ANDOVER — The trustees of Stevens Memorial Library voted unanimously yesterday to look at possibly expanding the facility.

The trustees voted to authorize their Long Range Planning Committee to prepare a plan by next May and to take steps to obtain Town Meeting support by July 2015. They also voted to complete the necessary documents to receive a grant from the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program.

The trustees approved spending up to $20,000 from library endowment money or state aid to hire a consultant to help achieve those goals.

Library Director Mary Rose Quinn said that while the Long Range Planning Committee will take the lead in developing a plan, library officials want to hear from residents.

”What does the community want the library to do?” is the question the trustees want to answer, Quinn said.

Trustee William Hansen, who heads the board’s Investments Committee, said the library’s endowment stands at about $695,000. Forty percent of the endowment is cash, he said.

”That seems pretty high,” fellow Trustee Peter Lafond said.

Hansen, a retired investment counselor, noted that the stock market has been very volatile over the last few years.

He said his committee will take a close look at how the library’s endowment is invested.

The trustees also voted to contribute $500 to help pay for a memorial to the late Harold Dushame, a longtime volunteer and philanthropist who helped the town in many ways. Dushame died last year.

Town leaders plan to honor the retired Air Force lieutenant colonel by buying a bench to be placed in front of Town Hall, where Dushame spent much time volunteering. Quinn estimated that the value of Dushame’s donations to the library probably exceeds $300,000.