EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

April 4, 2013

Library on the hill could be shelved

Administrator proposes the closing of Taylor Library

DERRY — Patrons, staff and supporters are trying to close the book on the town administrator’s plan to close the Taylor Library.

Town Administrator John Anderson’s recommendation to shut the small library in the East Derry village is prompting calls, emails and conversations on the street for town councilors.

“They are very upset and are calling and emailing town councilors,” library director Linda Merrill, a 23-year employee, said yesterday. “They can’t believe this.”

Councilors hold the fate of the 135-year-old library in their hand.

As a boy, America’s first man in space, Alan B. Shepard, took part in a human chain that moved books across the street from the Upper Village Hall into the library building his uncle Frederick gave the town.

The library is named for the two sisters, Harriet and Emma Taylor, who each gave $1,000 to open the town’s first library at Upper Village Hall.

“I was devastated, I was blindsided,” Merrill said.

If Anderson’s recommendation is accepted by the council, the library could close July 1.

Anderson deemed the $176,000 Taylor budget unaffordable for the town at this time, given the existence of Derry Public Library in nearby downtown. The proposed budget for Derry Public Library is $1.3 million.

Anderson did not return phone calls yesterday.

“Total shock,” is how new library trustee Kim Burke described her reaction.

“I just couldn’t believe it. This is such a historic piece of the community,” she said. “I just think it would be like closing the heart of the community.”

Her sons, Adam and Nicholas, have both used the library.

Adam, 15, at a meeting Tuesday, appealed to the Town Council to save the library. His Eagle Scout project was installing shelves at the library.

“The reason that I chose to do my Eagle project for Taylor Library was that I wanted to give back to the little library that has helped me my whole life,” Adam told councilors.

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