Community Library Committee Report

V. Evaluation Process

Meeting Structure

At the first meeting of the CLC, ground rules were established for the conduct of business. All meetings were to be open to the public. The business of the CLC would be first priority, with a period for public expression at the end of each agenda. At several points in the process, when noteworthy presentations were to be made or preliminary conclusions discussed, the public was notified through the media and a significant portion of the meeting was set aide for public input. CLC members were requested to set aside their affiliations and preconceptions, have an open mind, and to view data objectively.

For the period of May 2005 through January 2006, CLC meetings were held monthly, generally the third Saturday of the month. Thereafter, meetings were held approximately every two weeks, alternating between a weekday evening and Saturday mornings. Meetings were held at the Sag Harbor Municipal Building, Breakwater Yacht Club, Pierson High School and North Haven Village Hall. All meetings were noted in the local newspapers. Members of the general public were in attendance at all full CLC meetings.

Working Groups

In order to approach the work in a logical manner, a number of Working Groups were established during the deliberation process. These Working Groups met independently to investigate the issues covered in their areas of responsibility and drafted preliminary reports to the CLC as a whole. Such reports were presented and discussed in full public meetings of the CLC. The final reports of each Working Group are included in this report.

The Working Group charges and memberships are as follows:

  Needs Assessment
  Purpose: to describe the physical [and service] requirements necessary to provide quality public service to the community served by the JJML.
  Members: Alison Cornish (Coordinator), Jim Posner, Alex Eames, Gloria Primm Brown, Priscilla Ciccariello, Gail Slevin, Susan Kinsella, Kristen Schiavoni and *Christiane Neuville
  Building and Zoning
  Purpose: to review options for both on-site and off-site expansion of the JJML
  Members: Steven Hatfield (Coordinator), Priscilla Ciccariello, Arne Skilbred, Zach Studenroth, Alex Eames and David Lee
  Purpose: to identify, seek input and establish lines of communication with all community and library constituencies.
  Members: Gail Slevin (Coordinator), *Christiane Neuville, Kristen Schiavoni, *Kelly Canavan, Valerie Justin, Gloria Primm Brown and Chris Tice
  Purpose: to determine the feasibility of acquiring the Morpurgo property (6 Union Street), and, if determined to be feasible, present the plan of action that would be required to execute the purchase.
  Members: Susan Kinsella (Coordinator), Priscilla Ciccariello, Gail Slevin, Gloria Primm Brown and Greg Ferraris (JJML Board President)
  Use of Existing Building
  Purpose: to explore appropriate uses for the current library building.
  Members: Zach Studenroth (Coordinator), Dave Lee, Susan Kinsella, Gail Slevin, Gloria Primm Brown and Priscilla Ciccariello
  Purpose: to serve as the official mouthpiece for the CLC and keep the community and interested individuals informed of its deliberations.
  Members: Jim Posner (Coordinator), Jim Marquardt
  Purpose: to promote, market and fundraise for the project and all its aspects.
  Members: *Leonard Mayhew (Coordinator), Gloria Primm Brown and Susan Kinsella
  Note: This Working Group was disbanded and some of its charge transferred to the Finance Working Group.
  Purpose: to begin the process of investigating all sources of financial support for the JJML building program.
  Members: Gloria Primm Brown (Coordinator), Gail Slevin, Jim Posner, Arne Skilbred
  *served for a limited time
  Note: Allison Gray met with several Working Groups as needed

Consideration of Major Issues/Priorities Evaluation

After ten months of investigating and discussing the various complexities surrounding library expansion, CLC members were asked to rate the importance of each of thirteen issues in order to provide a framework for building a consensus in anticipation of making a recommendation to the JJML Board. A report and analysis is presented later in this document. The issues prioritized were:

  • Designated parking
  • Disruption to historic district during construction
  • Long-term impact on adjacent properties and streets
  • Total project cost
  • New building versus a renovated historic structure w/addition
  • Continuity of library service & disruption/dislocation of staff
  • Timing and time line of each project
  • Future expansion opportunities and the flexibility of building
  • Changes to existing structure
  • Long-term operating expenses
  • Future use of existing structure
  • Design of building
  • Value of historic district

Community Input

Public input has been an integral part of the CLC’s deliberations. Members of the public have attended each of the twenty-seven CLC meetings and expressed their opinions throughout the course of the process.

The Outreach Working Group established a process to solicit general community input early in the effort, which solicited comments through a variety of media and in a variety of locations. Many residents responded. A full description of their responses is explained later in this report.

The local media, particularly the Sag Harbor Express, the East Hampton Star and the Southampton Press provided continuous and comprehensive coverage of the CLC’s activities on a nearly weekly basis. The numerous articles and the dozens of “Letters to the Editor” published in these newspapers echoed the vibrant and ongoing community discussion of the CLC’s efforts. A broad sampling of these articles and letters are included as an addendum to this report.

Lastly, the role of each CLC member cannot be underestimated, in their ability as community representatives and leaders, to solicit the thoughts, concerns and dreams of their neighbors and friends. These, too, added to the rich context of ideas surrounding the work of the CLC.

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