Libraries: America’s common ground

A recent Gallup poll reported a surprising conclusion: “Visiting the library remains the most common cultural activity Americans engage in, by far.” Americans visit libraries twice as often as either movies or sporting events. Contrary to common opinion, technology has increased library use as those without computers depend upon their local library to go online.

America’s libraries now function as 21st Century Learning Centers. Libraries are common ground, where people meet for cultural and educational events, where job seekers come for help, where kids do their homework, where parents introduce children to the world of stories. The list of library uses goes on.

The Jones Library Building Project preserves our historic building, creates the flexible space needed to meet the demands of coming years, and provides a reinvigorated anchor for downtown and regional revitalization.

And as The Jones Library building approaches its 100th anniversary in 2028, our Library’s services will continue to evolve—with your help.

Public libraries are recognized as the most democratic of institutions. In a time of increased isolation and divisiveness, investing in our public infrastructure is all the more important. Amherst residents have chosen to leverage public and private funds for an expanded, flexible, welcoming, climate-friendly building that also restores vital aspects of the original 1928 structure.

Together, we're building a hub for...

Community & Culture
Lifelong Learning
Equity & Belonging
Historic Preservation

A hub for...

Community & Culture

The Jones Library Building Project provides dedicated, safe spaces to meet the needs of teens who currently lack a space of their own; additional bright spaces for all children’s collections and activities for the 7,000 children using our Library yearly; more quiet study and collaborative work spaces for patrons of all ages; better access to Special Collections and Burnett Gallery exhibitions and events; and additional, flexible meeting rooms to meet the demands of the 5,000 adults attending programs each year.

A hub for...

equity &

The Jones Library Building Project aligns our built space with our values. The substantial addition of ESL classrooms and quiet study spaces enables staff and volunteers to provide small group and one-on-one tutoring in privacy. Additional computers and wi-fi access allow low- and moderate-income people expanded access to current technology. Gender neutral restrooms promote a safe and welcoming atmosphere for all patrons. Universal design principles, simplified layout, and improved signage make The Jones Library fully accessible for everyone.

A hub for...


The Jones Library Building Project fulfills our obligations to future generations by making our Library climate-friendly. It eliminates the use of fossil fuels, uses carbon conserving building materials, and reduces energy use intensity by 60% and total lifetime carbon emissions by 41% compared to the current building. Once complete, the renovation and expansion will make The Jones Library net-zero ready and a model for climate-friendly libraries nationwide.

A hub for...


The Jones Library Building Project protects and preserves Amherst history by restoring most of the original 1928 building and reopening parts of its unique interior currently not open to the public. It also safeguards our Library’s irreplaceable Special Collections with appropriate security and climate control. By providing dedicated space for Amherst’s Civil War Tablets as well as for rotating special collections exhibits, our renovated and expanded Library will make unique artifacts of Amherst history accessible to the public.

A hub for...


The Jones Library Building Project provides the physical capacity to expand programs along with the flexibility to serve patrons’ needs for decades to come. The enhanced Career Center offers research and technological support to budding entrepreneurs along with space, technology, and staff assistance to help job seekers develop skills and pursue opportunities. Upgrades to the antiquated infrastructure vastly improve access to a wide range of educational and recreational materials, instruments, databases, newspapers, and magazines. And of course–books.

“I appreciate that library and ESL program staff reflect the character of the multicultural community.
They made me feel that I am not alone in a strange country.” 

–Isabel, Jones Library ESL program participant
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