An Exemplary Model
The expansion of Scranton Library can serve as an exemplary model of a public-private partnership, particularly for the improvement of aging buildings that exist to serve the public interest but that the Town of Madison does not own (“New Boat, Building on the Horizon for Madison Hose Co. No. 1,” Jan. 5). The public-private cooperation agreement between the Town of Madison and Scranton Library clearly outlines the rights and responsibilities of each party and includes articles that protect the financial investment of the town should the library dissolve. It was arranged to be mutually beneficial and accomplish what neither participant could do alone, especially when funds are limited.
Additionally, a memorandum of understanding is in place between these two parties that outlines mutually accepted responsibilities that are necessary for the operation of the library. This agreement recognizes that by virtue of the services provided, the library is in effect a public building and requires financial support from the town in order to carry out its mission. In return, the library agrees to provide equitable access to programs, services, and the facility for all residents of Madison.
As a result of this well-defined partnership, our community now has a vibrant library facility that serves the essential role of developing and supporting an educated and literate community of residents. And although the pandemic has caused a temporary interruption in walk-in service to the building, the library continues to deliver the core principles of its mission and is preparing to reopen the doors to this treasured community space as soon as it is safe to do so.
Scranton Library is an example of a successful capital project that delivers value far beyond what either party could achieve on its own, making it a win-win for everyone.
Nicole Wiles, President
E.C. Scranton Library Board of Trustees