Looking for meeting space?
Does your nonprofit organization or business need a place to hold meetings? As of this spring, the Nashua Public Library just may be the space you’re looking for.
On April 26, the library reopened the west wing of the lower level, formerly known as the Music/Art/Media Wing. Now called the Chandler Memorial Wing, the entirely renovated space features seven meeting rooms of varying sizes and setups.
The wing also includes space for reading magazines and newspapers and a performance area for library concerts and other events.
While some people still think of libraries as repositories for books, in 2017 they are much more. In addition to offering items like e-books, downloadable audiobooks, DVDs, and MP3 audiobooks, you can check out a telescope. Or a ukulele. You can attend movies, concerts, lectures, and computer classes.
No more meeting in the basement
And for many years the Nashua Public Library has hosted in the neighborhood of 1,000 community group meetings annually. But the building, opened in 1971, was not constructed with that use in mind.
So some meetings had to be held in basement storage space, in the local history archive room, or at tables and chairs between the book stacks.
All that has changed with the opening of the Chandler Memorial Wing.
- a lecture room for 40
- an activity room for crafts and games
- a computer training lab with eight workstations
- a board room
- a small seminar room
Equipment available includes 70-inch monitors, whiteboards, a DVD player, an iPad, and of course high-speed WiFi.
We’ve also revised some of our policies on using the rooms to make them more business-friendly. Previously all our rooms were available for use by nonprofits only. Now, our two small study rooms are available to businesses as well. These rooms are a perfect size for meetings with clients, real estate closings, and the like.
In the past food was not allowed in the library. The policy now is that covered drinks are allowed anywhere in the library, and food is allowed in the activity room, which has a sink and countertop. There’s also a “café” area in the Chandler Wing, and while we won’t be serving food, customers are welcome to sit there to eat a snack or lunch.
The money for these renovations came from Mabel Chandler, a wealthy Nashuan who lived from 1866 to 1959 in the big gray house at 257 Main Street, across from Southern New Hampshire Medical Center.
When Mabel died, she left her home to the library. It was used as a children’s library and then as a center for the library’s ethnic collections. But due to diminished use and high maintenance costs, the library sold the building several years ago. The proceeds from the sale, plus the trust fund that Mabel had left us for maintenance of her home, funded this renovation project.
How to book rooms
To reserve library meeting rooms, go to nashualibrary.org/visit/meeting-rooms, where you can read the policies for their use, check availability, and enter an online booking request. You can also direct questions to Rachel Gualco at (603) 589-4633 or email@example.com.