Easton's Ames Free Library received a portion of the $2.25 million recently dispursed by Governor Deval Patrick's office as part of the Community Innovation Challenge Grant program.
The $40,000 received by the library will be put towards the creation of a "Creative Commons" at the Queset House - a former Ames mansion that sits behind the main library building.
"Queset House is a town treasure and we are extremely grateful to the library for opening it to the public," Board of Selectmen Chair Colleen Corona said in a statement released Thursday. "The plan to outfit its gracious rooms with the technology tools needed to further digital education and collaboration is truly innovative. Those of us who work in town government are always looking for practical ways to apply Easton's rich heritage -- with includes five H. H. Richardson buildings and hundreds of acres of conservation land -- to the needs of our citizens."
With the help of the money, the Queset House will soon become an epicenter for information, collaboration, technology and learning, according to the statement.
"With its classic exterior and savvy interior, Queset House offers the opportunity to integrate technology, information, and collaborative expertise to support lifelong learning, intellectual, and creative pursuits," the statement read. "Its rooms are ideally suited to a scalable environment and will be used as meeting and study spaces, a digital media lab, film presentation and multimedia conference rooms. Guided by the spirit of a 'creative commons,' the CIC grant will help equip these spaces so that several community agencies can collaborate for the benefit of their mutual constituencies."
The idea was further explained in a recent blog post from Town Historian Ed Hands, whose entry was featured on Patch in January:
Each room will be a module in a site designed to encourage creativity and collaboration," he wrote in his blog. "There will be a recording studio, a lab devoted to digital imaging, and a studio for video editing. Creativity needs more than media and the Creative Commons has set aside a room for craft activities, two meeting rooms with TV capability, and a quiet reading area. While I love the technological whiz bang, my favorite room concept is using the house’s original library as the quiet area with the books from the library’s original collection lining the shelves. The modular idea carries through into the old dining room that can easily be converted into a sophisticated new dining room or a high tech meeting area.
The library became one of 27 recipients of the grant program to to "incentivize and support innovative regionalization and other cost saving initiatives."
“The first round of the Community Innovation Challenge Grant program was a success, attracting wide interest by municipalities and planning agencies to develop regionalization and innovation strategies on the local level,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray in a statement. “We’re excited to continue this program with the second round of award recipients who have all proposed more innovative opportunities and cost-saving measures to collaborate, regionalize and maintain valuable local services.”