EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 1, 2013

Stevens Memorial Library probably needs a new roof

By Paul Tennant

---- — NORTH ANDOVER – The venerable Stevens Memorial Library probably needs a new roof, according to Director Mary Rose Quinn.

She told the library trustees Tuesday afternoon several of the distinctive red tiles on the roof have fallen to the ground. The library was built in 1907 and Quinn said she thinks the tiles were installed at that time.

Some trustees said the Mediterranean style of the roof does not stand up well in the New England climate, with its extremes in temperature and the ravages caused by ice. Quinn said the roof has a few leaks.

Quinn suggested the town might consider using Community Preservation Act money to pay for a new roof. Assistant Town Manager Ray Santilli said he would gather “as much material together as possible” on how the roof can be replaced.

Quinn said she has submitted the library’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year, which will begin July 1, to Town Manager Andrew Maylor. The selectmen are expected to review the library budget Feb. 25, with the Finance Committee taking a look at it the following evening.

While the library is owned and operated by the town, the facility does not receive all of its financial support from local taxpayers. So far, Quinn said, the library’s second annual appeal has raised $10,405.

The library sent a letter to all North Andover households asking for donations, Quinn said. Those who wish to find out more about the appeal are asked to call the library at 978-688-9505.

The library has endowment funds, the interest of which aids its various programs. William Hanson, who chairs the trustees’ Investment Committee, said they have invested some of the library’s assets in Canadian stocks, which are now paying higher dividends than American stocks, he said.

“Libraries are no longer warehouses of books,” Quinn told the trustees. She and board members noted the mission of the library is changing, with more people going there to use Internet services.

The trustees’ chairwoman, Maria Galvagna Mesinger, said it would be interesting to find out how many go to the library to borrow books as opposed to those who go online for that purpose.

Hanson said he does all of his book borrowing by using the Internet.

Quinn said the board needs to develop a plan to use the library’s space.