Graves Library Launches $1 Million Capital Campaign

The Board of Trustees of the Louis T. Graves Memorial Public Library has launched a $1 million Capital Campaign to raise funds to expand and update the existing Library, according to an announcement from George W. Emery, chair of the Library’s fundraising committee.

The Mothers Wing Capital Campaign, named in honor of all mothers who have utilized the Library’s services over the past century to encourage their children to read, will raise $1 million to add a new wing to the existing Library to provide much needed space for collections and programs, install an elevator for enhanced handicapped access, and update the Library’s aged infrastructure.

“The Graves Library has served as an educational, social, and cultural center of our town for over a century; yet it has been over 30 years since the Library has sought community support for a Capital Campaign,” notes Emery. “In a digital era when traditional organizations are struggling to find relevance, the use of the Graves Library has grown, especially over the last six years. In addition to a dynamic and up-to-date lending Library, there are programs for children, instructional programs for adults, computer and Wi-Fi services, and e-book and audiobook lending services. In total we offer more than 400 programs for individuals of all ages. We also serve as a meeting place for many civic groups and non-profit organizations.

“We are pleased that the Library is growing, but increased use has brought challenges in finding space to meet that growth. In addition, the Library is a 19th century building in need of major updating. Key objectives of the Capital Campaign, in addition to the Mothers Wing and an elevator, include replacement of the Library’s aging heating and air conditioning systems.”

According to Emery, the Library Board is focused on maintaining the quality and integrity of the historic building. The design of the Mothers Wing, and the materials used to build the structure, will be compatible with the original building.

“We recognize that the Library is a signature structure in the towns of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport,” adds Emery. “As a result, we have worked closely with architects who specialize in historic structures to ensure that we preserve the character of this classic building while providing Library users with an expanded and fully updated facility.”

The Louis T. Graves Memorial Public Library, which is listed on the National Historic Register, recently celebrated its 100th anniversary in its current location.