Lithgow Library Capital Campaign

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why does Lithgow need to be renovated and expanded?

A: There are accessibility problems throughout the library, some due to lack of square footage, others from outdated design. The building, originally built in 1896 to hold 6,000 books, is now bursting at the seams with 67,000 books and media pieces. Windowsills function as shelves, there is no public meeting space, no dedicated space for teens, limited seating, and no room for future growth.

Q: Aren’t there other libraries in Augusta?

A: Yes, but none of these libraries exist to serve the entire community, as the public library does. Each of Augusta’s libraries serves a specific mission, such as supporting the curriculum of the University (Katz Library at UMA), providing statewide services and research materials (Maine State Library), and serving public school students in their formal education (school libraries). There are many gaps to be filled, and Lithgow helps to do that with services and programs for all ages, regardless of economic status or background.

Q: With the Internet and mega-bookstores, do we even need a public library?

A: Public libraries work in conjunction with the Internet and bookstores to provide information and resources to the public. Lithgow has seen a dramatic increase in usage as a result of integrating technology into their community offerings. The library provides Internet access on public computers, free, high-quality databases, downloadable audio books, and perhaps most importantly, the help of a trained library staff to cull through all of that electronic information.

Bookstores, conversely, sell current, popular materials for a profit. Once a book or CD stops being popular, the store no longer stocks it. Libraries provide a depth of information and are equipped for research purposes, while offering current, popular materials as well.

Q: Why can’t the current facility be renovated?

A: Issues with the current facility, not the least being its noncompliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, are so numerous that they can only be addressed in a comprehensive manner with a renovation and expansion.

Q: How much will the expansion and renovation cost?

A: The estimated cost is $8.1 million. That includes site work and testing, demolition of the 1979 addition, construction, professional fees, moving expenses, furnishings and contingency.

Q: I haven’t been inside Lithgow in years! Why should I care about this project?

A: The expansion and renovation of Lithgow Public Library is an investment in our community’s future. The library has been an integral part of this community for over 115 years. Investing in this facility makes a statement about the importance of Augusta’s heritage and its commitment to literacy, culture, and access to information and education. Its economic development potential couples with downtown revitalization efforts to attract new, tax-paying residents and businesses to Augusta. Across Maine and the nation, library expansions have acted as catalysts for economic growth and community development. Based on the experience of other Maine communities, we can expect usage in an improved facility to double or even triple.

  • Logo

    Lithgow Library

  • Testimonials

    "Now is the time to make the Lithgow Library the vibrant community center that the Augusta area deserves.  Please join us!"

    ~ Andrew Silsby

  • Currently Raised Total: $2.3 Million

  • Our Progress

Lithgow Library Capital Campaign
Lithgow Library Capital Campaign
Now is the time to preserve the heritage of our library while transforming it into a vibrant, modern community center dedicated to the cultural and intellectual enrichment of present and future generations.

© 2019 Lithgow Library Capital Campaign, All Rights Reserved
PO Box 2456 - Augusta, Maine 04338-2456 | Email: | Phone: 207.547.4547

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