Expansion, Picton Gazette

People are always surprised to hear that we are planning to break ground for our addition to the library in the spring of 2019.

We have been planning this for years and in that time have looked at a number of different plans and grants. While we have been exploring options the library was the grateful recipient of several bequests. Those bequests gave us the nucleus of our building fund.

As well over the past five years the municipality has been accumulating development charges on behalf of the library. This is a fund, contributed to by developers to assist community services in addressing growth in the community. The municipality has promised an additional sum through its capital budget this year and next.

The fund also received a Bernice and John M. Parrott grant. Had we been able to build with our original budget we would now have sufficient funds to start, but some changes that had to be introduced increased the budget to two million. The challenges of the slope we are building on and the consideration of soil density contributed to the increase. We are now well on our way to meeting this target.

This week alone many new offers of help came in. Amy Shubert joined Alexandra Bake’s fundraising committee. She comes with fresh ideas that she is willing to help us implement. Welcome, Amy! Adding to our fund, we received a $1,000 cheque from Red X Technologies Inc., a company out of Bridgenorth, Ont., who saw our plans and offered to contribute.

I have had many visits from patrons old and new who are inspired by the expansion plans and have made their way to my office with their cheques. One of them was on the board that hired me about 25 years ago to work in the Bloomfield branch. We shared memories of Bloomfield residents who are no longer with us and maybe, just maybe, she will consider applying to be on the new library board that will be constituted after the fall municipal election.

The response from the public has been heartwarming and I have to confess personally very inspiring. As I often tell people I have the perfect job; our patrons are always appreciative and complimentary. That inspires me and listening to Bake describe our plans to donors, as she has, many, many times over the last few weeks makes me impatient for what will be. One donor enclosed this note with their contribution:“Dear Alexandra; I want to commend you on the work you are doing on behalf of the library. The library is such a critical part of the community fabric.”

The Charlotte Gray talk last week — I am happy to report — brought in over $1,000 to add to the fund. Attendees were treated to a thoughtful and informed presentation on Canadians who had made an impact on our Canadian identity.Gray spoke effortlessly for an hour and fielded questions after the talk. Her generous contribution of time on a hot July afternoon was a true act of philanthropy and not only did it add to our building fund, but everyone there enjoyed a memorable afternoon.

Artist Tim Snyder stopped in this week with his contribution from the Canada Day caricatures. Snyder drew 15 caricatures in the blazing heat, standing in front of the Picton branch. He also designed the mugs that are now available to purchase at the library, Zest, Penny’s Pantry, Portabella Bisto, or Gilbert & Lighthall.

If you have started to collect the BIA mugs adorned with many of the significant local buildings (also Snyder’s work), you will love the library mugs with either just the Picton branch or with all six of our branches depicted.

If you want to help contact me at the library at 476-5962 or e-mail bsweet@peclibrary.org.

-Barbara Sweet