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Library Plans Sound Mitigation

Clouds Library Sound MitigationWhen you think of clouds, the natural reaction is to think of what we see in the sky – cumulus, stratus, cirrus. Now think of clouds in your public library – ones that can help with sound mitigation. In this case, however, the clouds
will be acoustic canopies strategically placed in certain parts of the barrel ceiling that runs from one end of the building to the other and is a source of sound being carried along that same course.

Contracting with architect Paul Mays of Butler Rowland Mays, LLC of Ballston Spa, NY, the Board of Trustees of Cornwall Public Library has been diligently working on a Master Plan for the library. The basis for the Master Plan began with a program of comprehensive market research executed by the library in 2011. The initiative included a community survey and several focus groups that represented different segments of the population. The goal was to ascertain how patrons and the community-at-large viewed the library and its current levels of programs and services, and to find out what they would like to see modified or added. Using the community's input the Board prepared a Long Range Strategic Plan from which Mays developed the recently adopted Master Plan. Reduction of the sound/noise level was one of several concerns expressed in the survey and focus groups. Phase I of the Master Plan addresses that item with introduction of the acoustic canopies.

To help fund this initiative Karen LaRocca-Fels, Library Director, recently prepared and submitted a construction grant application to the New York State Department of Education for consideration. If granted, monies will become available in 2014. The Cornwall Public Library Foundation is also fundraising in support of the project. Their recent inaugural golf outing on Friday, September 13th was deemed a great and successful event. An annual appeal in 2013 and other major events planned for 2014 will continue to raise funds in support of the clouds.

"Placement of acoustic canopies over the children's and circulation areas of the library will assuredly help mute the level of sound that is a byproduct of being a very active and busy library. They will also be aesthetically pleasing in appearance," said Susanne Vondrak, President of the library's Board of Trustees. "We are pleased to be moving ahead with Phase I of our Master Plan, while being able to address the requests and concerns of our patrons."

For more information about the Clouds or the library's Master Plan, please contact Karen LaRocca-Fels at 845-534-8282, ext. 201, or via e-mail: