Opening a new chapter 

Friends of the Pemberton Library aim to raise $80,000 to put finishing touches on new facility

Organizers are putting the final push on to raise funds for the Pemberton & District Public Library, launching a new campaign to bring in the $80,000 needed to buy furniture and equipment.

The new library will be twice the size of the previous facility on Cottonwood Street — about 4,000 square feet — and will feature a reader’s lounge and expanded children’s section, both of which will require new furniture.

Marnie Simon, director of Friends of the Library and chair of the New Chapter Campaign, said the new space is coming along nicely, and hopes it will be open in early spring.

“Everybody’s thrilled with it; it’s going to be quite spectacular.”

While the building may be beautiful, Simon said the real issue is giving patrons a place to sit and a space for librarians to work. Rising costs have exceeded the initial budget, and now they haven’t got enough furniture, or the right type of furniture, to outfit the new space.

“The fundraising initiative — the $80,000 — is really to furnish the new library, because we moved from a very small little old house with pretty much make-do furniture and stuff… that in a funky old house was fine, but there’s a need to have more furniture as well as better furniture,” said Simon.

And the issue isn’t just aesthetic. Simon said they will be allowed to use old shelving for a little while, but that will eventually need to be upgraded, so it is seismically sound.

In previous years, Friends of the Library have held a wine and cheese social event each fall to raise money for the library, which has been very popular with the community. But this year, since they need to raise such a large amount of money, they’re doing things a bit differently.

“We thought we’d try a bit of a twist this November and make it something a little bit different and save our traditional wine and cheese as a very special one for the opening of the library when it happens, and have it in the library,” said Simon.

Instead, they will be holding a wine and fondue evening sometime in early November, though Simon said they are still in the early planning stages, and haven’t finalized details.

They’re hoping the new event will bring in a big chunk of the $80,000 needed, and are kicking off the New Chapter Campaign at Friday’s annual book sale, which will be held in front of the Bank of Nova Scotia. After spending Monday morning sorting through donated books, Simon said she expects this year’s sale to be the best yet.

She also said they are starting to see a lot more excitement build in the community about the new facility.

“It’s starting to rev up. I think once we get out there with our campaign promotional stuff there’ll be more interest. This is really the very beginning.”

They will also be selling bookplates at the book sale as part of the New Chapter Campaign, and have a booth at the farmer’s market Saturday, so people can learn more about their campaign and make a donation.

Anyone interested in making a donation can also print off a donation form at http://pembertonlibrary.bc.ca/support.html .

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