West Tisbury Library Enters the Age of Sustainability

Of the six public libraries on Martha’s Vineyard the West Tisbury Free Public Library has the highest annual circulation and longest open hours for visitation.  It houses the Island’s largest book collection, and up until last year it yielded the highest circulation for its comparative space of a mere 5,600 square feet.

printable case study

Recognizing that their small building lacked sufficient shelf space, a children’s room, dedicated quiet space, a community program area and, above all, adequate restrooms (a single gender-shared bathroom), the library trustees embarked on fundraising and grant award efforts to expand their little jewel.

In July of 2011, the Library learned that it was one of only eight libraries in Massachusetts to receive a state construction grant that would pay about 50% of the cost of the much needed renovation and expansion; the town and donors funded the balance.  The New West Tisbury Library has more than doubled in size, expanding from 5,600 to 13,000 square feet, and possesses all of the items on its wish list including three new restrooms with state-of-the-art, 3-ounce foam-flush toilets connected to two Clivus composting waste treatment systems.

The environmentally friendly Clivus system is designed for this site to save over 93,000 thousand gallons of fresh drinking water each year.  No solid waste and very little waste water is sent to the septic system, thereby protecting Martha’s Vineyard’s waterways including nearby Millbrook Watershed and the ponds of West Tisbury.