Exploring the Library's Future

The board and staff of the library appreciate the strong community support of our mission to inspire learning, enrich lives and connect our community. As we plan for the library’s future, the Skaneateles Library Board of Trustees is considering potential new locations for the library; at the same time, we are developing new designs for renovating and expanding the current building.

A committee has been formed to identify new potential sites for the library and evaluate them alongside the library’s current location. Community members can find the most accurate and timely information about the library’s plan for the future on this page.

Learn more: Get to Know the Skaneateles Library | Long Range Plan 2020-2025

News and Updates:

Library Board Working Toward Decision (Press-Observer, 11/7/2019)

News article on building vote (Press-Observer, 9/25/2019)

Library Votes to Retain Ownership of Building Regardless of Future Plans (9/12/2019)

A Message from the Library Board President (6/28/2019)

Library Continues to Evaluate Options (2/1/2019)

Library Board Selects New President (2/20/2019)

Values Guiding our Work

Serving 9,000 residents in the Skaneateles School District, the library is an inclusive space where individuals and groups come to engage in activities, programs and resources that enhance their lives.

We are working to realize our vision to be the cultural and informational hub of our vibrant, thriving community by creating spaces and experiences that are:


  • Comfortable, accessible, functional space; the community’s living room
  • Accommodate users’ various space needs: quiet and loud, solitary and social, learning and teaching
  • Fully ADA compliant building and property


  • Collections and services that support learning, creativity and fun for all members of the community
  • Programs for all ages that reflect current interests and exploration of new ideas
  • Forums for local organizations through collaborative programs and meeting spaces


  • Flexible spaces that allow for change in future services and needs
  • Efficient staffing and building systems for stable operational costs and long-term financial health
  • Practices, materials and systems that protect the environment, our collections, staff and patrons

Library Site Evaluation Information

The current site and all potential new sites are being evaluated by the following criteria, which were developed from standard practice for library site evaluation and specific needs of our community as defined in the Library Space Needs Assessment completed in May 2017.

Neighborhood Context

  • Synergies with other cultural, civic, retail and residential neighbors:
    • Zoning and type of use; library use consistent with other surrounding uses (civic, educational, etc.)
    • Mutually-beneficial occupancies (functions of neighboring organizations are complimentary to library functions and vice versa)
    • Shared destination (sustainable strategy wherein people can park in one place and access multiple locations)
  • Central location within service area (both by population and geography)
  • Traffic and safety considerations

Site Considerations

  • Initial building size (supports a building of at least 14,000 to 16,000 square feet with accompanying parking, storm water retention, etc.)
  • Desirable shape (shape of site is uniform/doesn’t force odd or expensive building and related systems location/design)
  • Room for possible future expansion
  • Ease of construction (size and location of site allow for reasonably affordable and easy construction, including parking and access for construction vehicles)
  • Likelihood of existing hazardous materials contamination in need of remediation


  • Easy drop off/delivery (for patrons, daily book deliveries and vendors)
  • Pedestrian access
  • Car access/on-site parking
  • On-site drive thru book return (either into building or drop box)
  • Off-site parking for overflow available close by


  • Usable outdoor space (comfortable space for individual and program use, including noise level)
  • Views and natural areas

Frequently Asked Questions

(Updated 9/19/2019)

The committee to evaluate the current site and potential new locations for the library is made up of select board members and library staff. The committee may choose to ask community members to join this effort once some initial research and discussion has been completed.

For now, we encourage community members to share any positive ideas to help us create the best future for a long-lasting asset in our community library by emailing us at feedback@skanlibrary.org.

The board takes very seriously our commitment to the current building and its significance in this community. In September 2019, the board of trustees voted to retain ownership of the current building regardless of the future decision whether to remain in place or relocate.

A resolution passed in September 2016 includes the stipulation that we will fully examine the opportunities to bring a civic or culturally beneficial organization to the current space IF the decision is made to relocate the library, and we are actively exploring options for potential future use.

The library building in its current state is inadequate to meet our community’s existing and future needs.

Many members of the community are unable to enjoy the programs and services available at the library because of issues such as:

  • small and inflexible collection, program, learning and working spaces,
  • extremely limited parking and drop off areas, and
  • lack of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.