By Pettes Memorial Library 

It seems like a very long time ago – and it was. In January 2020, Pettes Memorial Library and Town of Brome Lake presented the community with plans for the expansion of the Library’s heritage building and the revitalization of Coldbrook Park, respectively. The event was well attended and the response was nothing short of enthusiastic. “People got very excited,” said Jane Livingston, president of the Library’s board of trustees. “They could see how these two initiatives work together, and how they will enhance quality of life for all.” 

A growing need for space 

The need for additional space has been a growing concern at Pettes Memorial Library in recent years, and it’s not just about books. “Yes, we’re a place to borrow a book,” said Jana Valasek, executive director of Pettes, “but we’re also a place to come read the newspaper, or get some work done using the WIFI or a computer. We’re where your book club or your lecture group can meet, where school children come for a visit and  seniors get together for coffee and conversation. But we don’t have room to grow these activities, develop new programs and host events, or add new facilities, like a media lab.” There is so much more the Library could offer the community, if only it had more space. 

Award-winning expertise 

A pre-feasibility study was conducted for the Library by Chevalier Morales, Architectes, an award-winning firm with extensive library experience. The preliminary plans resulting from the study are currently on display in the reading room at Pettes Memorial. Visitors are encouraged to check out the plans and complete a brief survey. 

A collaboration sure to succeed 

Like so much else in life, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the library project, but it has also provided the board of trustees with more time to pursue funding opportunities. “I am extremely grateful that, despite the pandemic, public and private donors are keen to help us move forward,” said Livingston. She underlined the key role played by Town of Brome Lake. “The Town has been incredibly supportive,” she said. “They want to see us succeed and their expertise in so many aspects of the project is already proving invaluable. We will continue to work closely with them.” 

Open for business 

At time of writing, Pettes Memorial Library is open to the public to choose books, although some restrictions remain in place. We apologize for any change that may be made due to health directives. But remember, books can be ordered by phone and picked up at the door or, thanks to the Knowlton Lions Club, delivered to your home if you can’t get to the Library. Our number is 450-243-6128. 

Library hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Please check if our pandemic zoning changes. 

Reading recommended by the Library: 

• The Four Winds, Kristin Hannah (Fiction)
• The Butterfly House, Katrine Engberg (Mystery)
• Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World Simon Winchester (Non-Fiction)
• Let Me Tell You What I Mean, Joan Didion (Biography)