The renovation and expansion of the Library will increase the total space to approximately 15,500 square-feet (from the current combined 9,900 sf) and will bring collections, program space, and support areas into a single facility. The grounds will be enhanced to include green space and a Children’s Garden that allows Library programs to extend beyond the building walls. Twenty-eight parking spaces will be divided on both sides of the complex (compared to 14 now), with two 15-minute spots located out front. In addition, the Maine DOT is also planning to define 14 pull-in parking spots along Walker and Wentworth Streets across from the Library.  

The grand opening for our 21st century library will take place in 2022 when Kittery celebrates Maine’s bicentennial and its 375th anniversary as Maine’s oldest town.  The Taylor building will remain open during construction.  For construction updates, see the Wright-Ryan Construction site, Rice Public Library Project.

Key Features

  • Treasured elements of the Rice building, such as the original woodwork and the grand staircase will be preserved, and access and circulation will be modernized with an  elevator and other upgrades to bring the building into full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The addition also will comply with the requirements of the National Historic Register to highlight and preserve the Rice’s historic architecture.  
  • Spaces in the Rice and the addition will be flexible to permit alteration as citizens’ needs change and library services evolve in the future, and with durable materials and energy-efficient systems to hold down operating costs.  
  • The Community Multi-Purpose Room will include seating for up to 100 people and divider doors so that up to three events can occur at the same time. The room will be available to other organizations, with a separate entrance to provide access during periods the Library is closed.   
  • The expanded Children’s Area, a sun-filled space on the upper floor of the new addition, will include an enlarged collections space, a designated Story Time area, the Children’s Librarian’s Office, and a Circulation Desk.  A Children’s Technology Center will include work stations with educational software to enhance the youngsters’ learning.  
  • Young Adults will now have their own designated room equipped with age-appropriate books and other materials, and adjoining Study and Game Rooms.  
  • The Atrium/Reading Area on the main level of the addition will feature tables, chairs, and comfortable seating for reading, with displays of new arrivals, DVDs, audio and large print books nearby. 
  • The Rice building will have three spaces for small groups.  The lower Turret Tower Room will be available for small-group study and meetings, tutoring sessions, and reading, and will house the cookbook collection.  The upper Turret Tower Room will be furnished for reading and quiet study, and will hold periodicals along with the Library’s collection of oversized books.  The Business Center/Multi Media Conference Room will provide space for business owners, as well as other small groups, to work quietly, make business calls, host client meetings, and deliver multimedia presentations.  
  • A Maker Space/Craft Area, located in the Community Room, will be outfitted with tables, varied equipment, a sink and storage for a wide range of children’s and adult hands-on learning experiences.  
  • Two Circulation Desks, the main desk in the addition and a second one in the Children’s/Young Adult section, will have lots of shelving for reserved books, DVD binders and book carts, and a nearby photocopier.  
  • The Processing Area, including Minerva interlibrary loans, will include work stations, shelving and counters for processing books and materials.  
  • The E-Commons will provide up to 10 computers with public access, and the new building will have wireless access throughout.  Patrons will be able to charge phones and other devices at various locations throughout the building.
  • The Maine/Local History Room will be relocated to the lower level of the addition, for genealogy research and for the collection and storage of Kittery’s historical records and documents.    
  • Visitors coming to activities in the Program Room after hours will enter through a well-lighted Gallery space for the display of varied artwork by local and regional artists.
  • There will also be additional rooms and spaces for the collection and display of a wide array of reading, reference and entertaining material.