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Mount Vernon Public Library

Context

Communities around the world are reimagining their neighborhood libraries into 21st century community centers bringing people together in a data rich world. The contemporary library offersvibrant attractive focal points for neighborhood identity and places where residents can encounter one another informally and obtain access to resources vital to full participation in contemporary life.  

 

Today community libraries must capture the neighborhood’s sense of identity while also demonstrating its status as a civic icon and public place. Good design is critical, as successful community libraries have proven to provide important impetus for social and economic revitalization. 

Problem

Located in Westchester County just north of New York City, the City of Mount Vernon is currently the eighth most populous city in New York with a medium income of $47,000, compared to the County average of $83,958. 21% of Mount Vernon residents have an income below the poverty level and 25% of the population lacks broadband access. 

Currently the MVPL is the central library of Westchester but requires capital investment to better utilize its facility to serve the changing needs of today’s Mount Vernon residents. 

Solution

Turf is working with a consortium from the Westchester County Association, Sterling National Bank, and the City of Mount Vernon to create a case study of how to address the Digital Divide in the context of the MVPL. The vision to create a vibrant teen center digital center which can serve as a model on how to address the Digital Divide in Westchester County/

 

At the core of Mount Vernon’s Public Library is a beautiful Carnegie Library, built in 1896 and preserving most of its original detailing. Turf is helping the city find funding to commission a master plan to rethink space use and facilities, from which will follow strategic renovations and upgrading to revitalize the facility as an attractive, vibrant, multifunctional community facility.   A mix of public and private funding will be used to make the library a pillar of support for families, students, and all who live and work in Mount Vernon.