The current proposal calls for moving the library resources at the Lee County Reference Room of the Boca Grande Community Center to the Fust Library. Lee County will fund the library resources. The Johann Community Library of Boca Grande Inc. will maintain the ownership of the building, grounds and endowment and will be responsible for operating and maintenance expenses of the buildings and grounds.
Changes to the Fust library building would include upgrading the main library room, turning the check-out area into a display area, turning the staff office into a reading room and turning the children’s library area into staff and volunteer offices.
The proposal includes creating more handicap-accessible facilities, turning a garage into a media room, turning a storage building and garden shed into the children’s library and secret garden, building a new storage building and upgrading the parking lot.
Staff with the Lee County Historic Preservation Board has recommended the project be approved.
The idea to combine Johann Fust and the reference room culminated when the Johann Fust board conducted a survey and asked residents and visitors their thoughts and opinions on the island’s libraries.
According to the board, the overwhelming question asked was why there were two libraries on such a small island.
The Fust will raise the funds to repair and renovate the buildings, and they will continue to maintain ownership of the buildings and grounds.
The Fust Library was built by Henry Richardson Shepley. The project funds were donated by Roger and Louise Amory and the building was dedicated in 1950. The first floor of the building consists of the library room, the entryway, the check out area and the staff office. The second floor accommodates a living unit originally intended for the librarian.
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