b"will allow the library to be the anchorandForum, that will function as such spaces did in an-the prideof the community, or perhapscient Rome: as seating for events, or just for lounging simply reflect that it already is both of thosefor those hanging out or quietly talking with friends. things. Lester is delighted that the community space will Since space around the library is limited,have its own entrance, and ADA access will mean it the plan is to go up, not out. Conceptualreally will be easily available to all. drawings by Sage and Coomb, a New YorkThat space will allow the library to continue to architecture firm whose guiding principle isoffer,andeventoexpand,communityconversa-its belief that well-designed public buildingstions and festivals such as this past Septembers dis-strengthen community, show an additional,cussion between Knight Foundation president and An imagined view of the proposed addition from the park if theairy floor, with trees were invisible! a bank of win-the project planning to start immediately, it alreadydows facing the has secured $10 million from the town and raisedpark. Lester says the ad-$1 million from donors, a whopping amount givendition will re-orient the Maplewoods size. building,sothatthe Itsbeenagreateffort,saysDavenport.Inpark is once again visible times like these Im always amazed at how generousfrom the entrance (as it people are with their time and money.waswhenthelibrary Lester is more succinct. People believe in Maple- firstopenedin1956); wood, she says. Thats where the generosity comesindeed the park will be from. a focal point from many They also believe in the library. Lester notes thatof the rooms in the new a recent Pew Foundation poll shows that, in a di- design. vided nation, libraries are the most trusted institu- Therenovationwill tion there is. We are free and open to all and we arealsoprovideabove-apolitical and we are here to serve, says Lester. groundcommunity Libraries, she explains, can anchor communities.space,andadramaticSarah Lester credits her staff for the library's quick response to the pandemic, and the The library addition is meant to create the space thatpublicspacecalledthelibrary's community outreach, as well as its awesome website.Explore Pingry.anywhere.Experience Pingry from wherever you are with a virtual visit, and discover the possibilities.visitpingry.orgShort Hills Campus | Lower School K-5Basking Ridge Campus | Middle & Upper Schools 6-12feature story /39"