Our mission is to improve the quality of life for all Madison residents by providing access to information, fostering lifelong educational and cultural learning, and cultivating relationships among our residents through the exchange of ideas.
The E.C. Scranton Memorial Library is well used and well loved. But it is straining at the seams and struggling to meet expectations for a 21st century library. Daily, this severe shortage of space and lack of parking creates conflicts and compromises for library patrons and staff. It is a major barrier between us and our potential. Communities that offer more comprehensive, more accessible and more collaborative local libraries will play an increasingly important role in attracting, educating and retaining better-informed, more knowledgeable and more productive citizenry. Those are the libraries of the future. The “Futures” project will create a right-sized library that will serve the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s generations, while respecting our past by preserving the character of the library’s neighborhood and original building. The Futures Project will completely renovate the current library building and increase its size from 17,144 square feet to 37,189 square feet. The project is designed to build brighter futures for all of our library users, specifically:
Futures for Children: The new Children’s Library will be moved to the current Adult Area on the Main Level creating a 6,300 square foot space that includes: 922 square foot children’s program and craft room; early-literacy and STEAM Exploration Centers; lower bookshelves and book bins for easier access; a variety of comfortable and functional furniture for children and caregivers; a family restroom with changing station
Futures for Teens: A separate Teen Library will be built in the lower level of the new wing. Staffed by a full-time Teen Librarian this new 1700 square foot area will include: a state-of-the-art multi-media program room; an increased number of dedicated teen computer stations; increased shelving to accommodate an expanded teen collection; group work spaces and comfortable seating designed especially for teens
Futures for Adults: For our adult patrons, having quiet reading and work spaces separate from noisier areas of the Library is a key benefit of the new design. Adult visitors will be able to enjoy: a beautifully restored quiet reading room in the most historically significant part of the library; three additional group study rooms for smaller meetings and instructional classes; improved material and display shelving for easier access to adult collections; new comfortable and functional furniture in all adult areas.
Futures for Community: Features that will benefit all users of the library will be: on-site parking for approximately 45 cars; a main-level, 1100 square foot program room that seats 90 participants; a self-serve café area with snacks, beverages, and seating; improved technology access including faster internet service and wireless capabilities.
Respecting the Past: The library sits on a 1.8-acre lot that includes four existing buildings. The original library – designed by Henry Bacon, architect of the Lincoln Memorial – constitutes the main block of the current library. Its entrance along the Boston Post Road will be retained and the structure cleaned and restored. Three adjacent buildings are also historically significant to the development of Madison’s downtown. One historic building (the old post office) will be moved forward on the property to create a more cohesive streetscape. A two-family residence built in 1984 will be demolished to make room for onsite parking, which will connect directly to the library’s new main entrance. The façade of the Hull Office Building, a 96-year-old brick-faced structure directly behind the library, will be retained to keep the streetscape as intact as possible.
Financing the Future: This project has an estimated cost of $15 million dollars and is funded with a combination of Town bond money, grants and donations. Fundraising will continue to achieve total amount needed for the project. As of March, 2017:
In 1792 a local subscription library, called the “Farmers’ Library”, was established in East Guilford which later became the Town of Madison. The catalog of the library the following year lists about 260 volumes. During the 1860’s, interest waned and the dwindling book collection was auctioned off to members.
However, in 1874 the East River Reading Room was opened and in 1878 the Madison Library Association was also organized. Membership was $1.00 a year; non-members could pay 5 cents per week per book. The collection was housed in various locations until 1895 when it was lost in a fire. Although there remained only 18 books, those checked out at the time of the fire, within a year the Library Association was operating again in the corner of a local shoe store.
The inadequacies of this situation were resolved in 1900 when Miss Mary Eliza Scranton offered the Madison Library Association the use of a new, completely furnished, library building which she had had built on the corner of Wall Street adjoining her family’s old home. The offer was accepted, books moved in, and in 1901 the Association dissolved and the E.C. Scranton Memorial Library was incorporated.
The original library building was designed by Henry Bacon, an eminent New York architect who later designed the Lincoln Memorial. A New York firm of “contracting designers” was in charge of the architecture, construction, decorations and furnishings, the total cost of which was about $30,000.
Miss Scranton offered the position of librarian to Mary L. Scranton with the condition that she first acquire the necessary training. The Library’s benefactress also gave annual gifts of $1500 which increased slightly through the years until 1913 when she established a trust fund of $56,875, the income to be used for library expenses. At this time Miss Scranton also deeded the building and grounds to the corporation.
In 1900, the Town of Madison had declared the newly formed association to be a free town library and agreed to contribute $100 annually for expenses. This continued until 1949 when the Town gave $600 to meet rising expenses for which income from the endowments was inadequate.
By the 1960’s the building had become outmoded and crowded. The book collection had swelled from the original 1200 volumes to about 40,000. To adequately meet the demands of a rapidly growing population, the board successfully raised a little over $126,000 for a two-story wing and a renovation of the original building which was completed in 1965. Library use continued to increase and the building was once again expanded in 1989.
Today the Scranton Memorial Library’s physical collection has grown to 116,000 physical items and 17,000 shared electronic materials, serving a population of more than 18,000. The Town of Madison annually provides 85% of the total operating budget of $1.4 million.
In 2016, 178,816 library materials were circulated. There were more than 10,000 attendees at more than 700 library programs. Almost 22,500 questions were handled by reference librarians. Library computers were used more than 23,000 times. Databases available to library card holders were downloaded 26,825 times. 8747 people in Madison, or 48% of the town’s population, have library cards; the state average is 42% of a town’s residents have library cards.
From 2013 - 2016, the number of times our library's 16 computers were logged into by children, teens and adults increased approximately 70%. This increase does not include use of the library's wifi via patrons' laptop computers or handheld devices as we cannot capture those numbers. These library usage statistics are above the averages for libraries in Connecticut.
In 2017, Scranton Memorial Library’s goals are to sustain the above level of library programs, services and activities despite the challenges of being approximately 40% too small in terms of physical space, as per Connecticut state library guidelines regarding library space per capita. Also, the FUTURES building project has started, the capital campaign to support this project will continue, and the Library anticipates opening the doors of the newly renovated and expanded library in the fall of 2019.
E. C. Scranton Memorial Library needs more space to facilitate services, programs and activities for all ages and appropriate access to materials, computers, work and study spaces, and staff. The current plan to expand and refurbish the library is $15,084,749. The library has committed to raising the remaining funds needed through private donations, a capital campaign and grant funding.
E.C. Scranton Memorial Library is a cornerstone of the Town of Madison. In conjunction with a highly professional and academically focused community, as well as excellent public schools, the Library offers on-site and online resources for learning, research, job training/searching, and entertainment. Patron use of print and digital materials and community participation in library programs is consistently above the State average for libraries of similar size and community profiles. Library staff members are friendly and knowledgeable, well-known and liked by the community, and connect with and serve residents of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds.
The Library’s facilities are in need of dramatic attention in terms of both expansion and refurbishment in order to meet the demands of current services and programs. On February 7, 2017, the voters of the Town of Madison overwhelmingly approved a $9.1 million bond to be used towards the renovation and expansion of the Library. The total cost of the project is estimated at $15 million and the Library will privately raise the remainder of the needed funds. With $4.5 million already raised, the Library Board of Trustees and staff have launched an ambitious but achievable capital campaign, including major gift solicitations and grant seeking. The finished project will consist of a newly renovated library, expanded from 17,000 square feet to 37,000 square feet and on-site parking for 45 vehicles.
However, our fundraising needs do not end there. While we provide the public library service for the Town of Madison, as an association library we are not a department of the Town. We only receive 85% of our total operating costs from local taxes. The remaining 15%, over $200,000, must be privately raised each year.
The E.C. Scranton
Memorial Library is a warm and inviting public library in Madison, Connecticut.
We hear often that our staff is knowledgeable and helpful. The staff and the
services they provide are a signature feature of our library. With a small
staff and small spaces, we have excellent and creative programs for a wide age
range of patrons. Those are successes for sure.
Another challenge is the perception in our town regarding how the library is funded. Many residents, potential donors, summer/seasonal residents and taxpayers in Madison do not realize that the library’s operating budget is not fully funded by the town. Annual fundraising is necessary to close the gap and meet the library’s annual operating expenses. Those efforts have been volunteer-driven until this winter, and have not provided consistent, predictable income for the director to rely on to plan programs or pay bills. In February 2016, a part time development manager was added to the library staff to lead and support annual fundraising efforts, pursue funding from grant makers, and oversee donor care and stewardship.
I am honored to serve as President of the Board of the E.C. Scranton Memorial Library. I have been a member of the Board of Directors since 2008. Libraries add greatly to the cultural and intellectual development of a community. Families can watch their children grow through library programs and students of all ages can enhance their education by using the library resources that are offered. I serve on this board to support this amazing staff and the programs they offer and it is my hope that through my efforts the space can be elevated to do justice to the programs we all enjoy at the E.C. Scranton Memorial Library.
Madison is an economically mixed community with a well-run town government, one of Connecticut's best performing public school systems and an unspoiled natural environment. The town's 18,297 residents enjoy recreational activities on beaches, inland waterways and hiking and biking trails, numerous community cultural events, historical landmarks, and a town farm. Madison is at the heart of the Connecticut Shoreline region, and is a "destination" location due to these many fine local attractions. Families and seniors make up most of the town, with a vibrant mix of professionals in health services, academia, finance and other fields as well as law enforcement, service and tradespeople.
Scranton Memorial Library is a member of Libraries Online (LION), a self-governing consortium of Connecticut libraries committed to leveraging technology to share, expand, and promote quality, cost-effective information resources and services. The LION catalog contains the full collections of the member libraries, including over 800,000 titles, 2.5 million items, more than 2300 audiobooks, more than 4000 electronic book titles (Overdrive,) and e-magazines.
Children’s Programs: The Scranton Library Children’s Department offers programs for children from birth to grade 6. These programs are scheduled on a seasonal basis for 6 to 8 weeks. Offerings are posted online on the library calendar. Registration is required for programs so we can have the correct amount of supplies and staff. Many of our programs have waiting lists.
Young Adult/Teen Programs: There are regular meetings of teen writing and movie groups. The Teen Advisory Group (TAG) is a group of students in grades 6-12 who meet regularly with the Teen Services Librarian to help plan library programs for teenagers, to give input on library issues related to teens and to assist in selecting books and media for the library’s Teen Area. Throughout the year the Teen Department tries to host several programs related to preparing for college for both students and parents, including a Testing & Education Reference Center and online learning resources. Teens can volunteer in the library in a number of ways: as part of a tech support group in partnership with the Madison Senior Center and Madison Youth and Family Services, as a Reading Buddy with younger children, or as a book shelving aide.
Students in Madison are doing well in literacy areas in school,
which is evidence of the success of literacy development programs at Scranton
Memorial Library. Success of our children's reading programs can be seen via the Connecticut Mastery Test Results in
Reading and Writing, as reported in the Town of Madison’s Town Profile
by the Connecticut Economic Resource Center. Percentages represent the number of students above goal in 2013, the most recent year reported.
Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 8
Town State Town State Town State
83.4% 56.9% 85.5% 62.7% 91.5% 76.3%
72.4% 60.0% 86.4% 63.1% 90.0% 67.3%
Adult Programs at Scranton Library include a wide array of arts, cultural and educational offerings throughout the year. Professional librarians and teen volunteers provide ongoing tech support for patrons in need of instruction and support to use their computers, devices, email and other online applications. In addition, The Library provides books for book club members every month as requested.
2016 Computer & Database Usage:
Availability: Free computer and wifi access for both residents and non-residents, printing, a scanner and Early Literacy Learning stations for preschoolers, Scranton eNavigators offer one-on-one and group training sessions on patrons’ personal electronic devices; also available for outreach to local civic groups or businesses.
60 online resources are available to Madison residents from their home computers and devices or library computers, in the following general categories: Library Catalog, Books, Literature, Writing, Business/Finance/Jobs, Consumer/Entertainment, Education, Health and Science, History, Biography and Genealogy, Languages, Law, Magazines and Journals and News sites.
Free borrowing of over 4,000 e-books, downloadable digital audio books and magazines, plus several thousand more titles through the Connecticut State Library and the LION Library consortium. Zinio provides 150 popular magazines.
The Scranton Memorial Library offers meeting space for local community organizations for non-commercial activities during the Library’s normal operating hours. At least 34 different community groups use the Library for regular monthly, quarterly or annual meetings. Spaces are also used for art and project exhibitions. As of March 15, 2017, 815 reservations have been made for calendar year 2017. (Actual 2017 room use statistics will likely be lower than in past years since the Library will be moving to a temporary location sometime in Fall 2017 for the building project to begin.) Room assignments are determined based on group size and availability. There is no fee to use the Library’s meeting spaces. The Large Community Room is for groups up to approximately 80 attendees. The Local History Room is for groups up to approximately 20 attendees. Library sponsored events receive priority in scheduling. Scheduling of meeting rooms at all other times shall be on a first-come, first-served basis. Spaces are reserved by calling the library.
The Library’s current Strategic Plan addresses goals for Library Programs & Services. The Library will offer a broad array of content, as well as programs and services, to encourage lifelong learning and become a center for learning and culture in the community. To ensure that this goal is consistently met and surpassed, the Strategic Plan defines the following steps, which Library staff implement on a daily basis.
1. Assess and improve the collection to meet the needs of the community.
2. Increase and improve the scope and quality of programs and services.
3. Increase the use of electronic services as a means to better access the library.
4. Improve process of obtaining or returning books.
5. Identify, create and/or expand current database and professional research services, which can be marketed to the professional, business and local community.
6. Organize and improve the Library’s ability to offer space to the community
7. Improve and expand the commitment to the Madison School System to provide programs and resources both in the schools and in the Library.
After earning her Masters of Library Science from Southern Connecticut State University in 2000, Ms. Crowley began working as a Children’s Librarian at the Groton Public Library in Groton, Connecticut. She eventually became Head of Youth Services overseeing the children’s and teen departments and then in 2009 was promoted to Manager of Library Public Services, overseeing the adult department as well. In January of 2012, Ms. Crowley accepted the position of Library Director at the Scranton Memorial Library.
In 2008, Ms. Crowley completed the intensive, 5-day New England Library Leadership Symposium (NELLS) run by the New England Library Association and in 2011 she again participated in NELLS as a mentor representing Connecticut.
Ms. Crowley has been a board member of the Connecticut Library Association since 2008 and served as President of the Association for 2015-2016. She also serves on the LION Consortium Board of which the Scranton Memorial Library is a member. She has held the officer positions of Vice-President, President and Past President. Ms. Crowley has also been the Connecticut Representative to the New England Library Association Board.
Ms. Crowley is also a member of the Rotary Club of Madison.
The Library 's Strategic Plan for 2012 – 2017 addresses Human Resources/Personnel needs at Scranton Memorial Library:
The Library will be a high functioning organization with a focus on competence, accountability and congeniality among staff with an ongoing focus on staff development.
1. Reorganize the internal staff of the Library to best meet the needs of patrons and support the internal operations of the organization.
2. Create and implement a procedures manual to provide guidelines and instruction for staff in routine responsibilities and assignments.
3. Create a formal professional development program for staff to ensure staff are skilled in the latest materials, technology, and customer service methods.
4. Strengthen personnel procedures and supports.
5. Systematize and document the Library’s financial management policies and procedures to ensure a sound financial structure.
6. Delineate the role of the Scranton Library Friends.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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