The North Conway Public Library has officially been renamed after Lyman Pope in recognition of his generous donation to the expansion project. Shown admiring the new signage is from left Lyman Pope, Sharon Wroblewski, Capital Campaign Chair, and Andrea Masters, Library Director.
NORTH CONWAY, NH – It’s been an exciting year for the North Conway Public Library. The expansion and renovation project, which doubled the size of the library and brought systems up to code, while adding much needed space for library services to meet community needs, was completed in 2020.
While the library is open, with limited hours due to COVID, the capital campaign is ongoing. “We have approximately $350,000 still to raise”, said Andrea Masters, Library Director. “We were so fortunate to receive funding from Lyman for the construction but rising costs during this phase of the project increased our budget needs significantly and we continue to seek grant funding, as well as community support to reach our goal.”
In 2018, the Board of Directors set a goal to renovate and expand the iconic North Conway Public Library after a very generous donation by Lyman Pope, a loyal patron of the library since the 1950’s. He said he saw the need for expansion there and was happy to be in a position to help that cause, as well as to support a library where dogs are welcome. “And this location is excellent. It’s right downtown and people have walking access to it,” Pope said.
“Lyman was instrumental in the development of plans for the expansion – a strong voice from the very beginning of planning through the construction phase” said Board President, Neill Osgood. “As with the early gifts from Mr. Whitaker and Dr. Schouler, one of the Valley’s own set the stage for the library’s future. We thank our friend, Mr. Lyman Pope, for his vision and courageous advances for the betterment of our community and future of our beloved library. We also thank our wonderful patrons and the many community members who have donated to our fund, as well.”
Known for his support of animal shelters, this is Pope’s first library donation and his first project here in his Mount Washington Valley home. The reasons are simple, he said. He cares about dogs that have been mistreated and he cares about libraries.
“Lyman loves books and libraries, and dogs”, said Andrea Masters, Library Director. “He is particularly fond of German shepherds, and as part of the building project, he commissioned a bronze statue of a shepherd that sits proudly by the new entrance in honor of war dogs that have served the American military during wartime.”
The library plans a grand opening celebration sometime in 2021 and looks forward to welcoming the community to the Pope Memorial Library, the newly renamed library announced by the board of directors at their annual meeting in March.
Mr. Pope donated $3 million to the building project and will donate $2 million to the endowment once the name change is officially recorded, all signage completed, and a new walkway built from Main Street to the new entrance of the building in the back.
“We are thrilled to name our library after Lyman Pope”, said Osgood. “His gift is all the more important as the library receives no funding from the town and relies on donations and grants. Lyman’s generosity and devotion to the library and its standing in our community will endure for years to come, as will our mission to enhance the quality of life of our patrons and community, as a whole.”
For more information on the library and its capital campaign please call 603-356-2961, visit northconwaylibrary.com, or stop by during library hours Tuesday and Thursday 10am – 2 pm and Friday 12 pm – 4 pm.