Statement of Support: The Literacy Project

The Literacy Project supports the Trustees and staff of the Jones Library in their efforts to renovate and expand, to make the library services more inclusive and accessible. We are pleased and proud to be included as a partner in the Jones Library renovation plans. The Literacy Project shares a mission with the Jones of supporting reading and literacy. This makes the Jones Library a perfect home for our adult students who are typically nontraditional library users.

The Literacy Project is a small local nonprofit with classrooms in Amherst, Northampton, Greenfield, Ware and Orange. We offer free classes to adults in reading, writing, math, high school equivalency and college readiness.¬† Adult students work at their own pace in small, comfortable classes, with guidance from staff instructors and support from volunteer tutors. Students of all ages, from 16-76, study with The Literacy Project to reach their goals, whether it’s passing the high school equivalency exam, preparing for college and careers, or simply discovering the joy of reading.

The Literacy Project aims to keep the doors of opportunity open to all, to provide free access to education to adults who need a second chance to make a better life for themselves and their families. What better place to do this work than at the Jones Library.

Submitted by
Judith Roberts
Executive Director
February 24, 2017

Statement of Support: The Amherst Historical Society and Museum

The Amherst Historical Society and Museum supports the expansion and renovation plans of the Jones Library. The two organizations are neighbors on Amity Street and our buildings, although not related institutionally, share space that enhances both structures and the experience of visitors to Amherst. Of greater importance, however, is the outcome of lengthy discussions in 2009 and 2010 that suggested that the two institutions should cooperate more fully. We anticipate, for example, that the expanded Jones Library will have storage space dedicated to the Historical Society’s more delicate collections such as textiles, paintings, and works on paper. We hope too that there will be exhibition space that will enable members of the public to see Historical Society objects in ¬†ways that the mid-eighteenth-century Strong House precludes at the present time.

Another aspect of the building plan that the Historical Society supports is expanded public meeting space, something that is in short supply in Amherst, at least at no cost to residents. It is often difficult to schedule events because of so much demand. The Historical Society holds its annual meeting and lectures in the Jones Library; the Historical Society does not have sufficient space for our own membership and has no plans for an addition to accommodate large events.

The residents of Amherst deserve a public library that is easy to navigate, fully accessible, and user friendly. The staff and collections are great assets to the Town; they and the residents deserve a building to match.

Georgia B. Barnhill
President, Amherst Historical Society