Was this library always a library? It looks like a church.
The Norman Williams Public Library was built in 1883 in the Norman Romanesque style, which does resemble many older churches. It has always been a library.
Why do you call yourself a privately incorporated library if you have Public Library in your name?
The Norman Williams Library was founded by Dr. Edwards Williams to provide public library services to the greater Woodstock community. Although we are a 501c(3) non-profit by law, we act as a public library with all of the services a public library would offer. We are recognized by the Vermont Department of Libraries as such.
What is an incorporated library?
In Vermont there are two types of libraries, municipal and incorporated. A municipal library is created by an act of the voters or governing body of a community and funded by that community as part of it's town budget. The employees are town employees.
An incorporated library is a non-profit corporation privately created to provide library services. It may or may not be funded fully or partially by tax dollars voted annually as an appropriation by the community or communities that use it. The employees are privately employed by the Library and it's governing body is known as a Board of Trustees.
How much did the renovation and restoration of the library cost? Why so much?
The library privately raised $5 million dollars for the restoration and repair of the building in 1998-2000. All the money was used on the project and no loans were required. The largest expenses were structural repairs to the facility which included an unstable foundation, crumbling exterior mortar in most of the stonework, rotting ceiling arches and a new roof. The remainder was to renovate the facility for space, handicap accessibility and a new heating/cooling system.