Expansion project good cause for last second donations

Picton Branch of the Prince Edward County Public Library. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

As we near the end of 2019 you may be contemplating your end of year giving.

The County of Prince Edward Public Library is hoping that you will consider the Picton expansion project as a cause you would like to support. We had hoped to be well into our build by this point and I have had many people enquiring about the future of the project as a result. Is it going to happen? Are we altering the project? Though we are disappointed that we were unable to start to build over this past summer, we have continued to receive your generous donations and support. So yes, the addition will happen and no it will not be reduced in scope.

The fundraising committee with Chair Alexandra Bake has been tireless. Alexandra’s passion and creativity has moved the project forward at an amazing rate. In 2018, 298 people contributed $115,580, an average of $388.00 per gift. In 2019 so far, 219 tax receipts have been issued to 185 people who have contributed $109,320, an average of $591.00 per gift. Over two years $225,000 has been donated by 483 people. This does not include the many events and grants and bequests that the project has been fortunate enough to receive.

The community, through focus groups and surveys, has told us that they embrace the expansion plan. Supporters have written cheques large and small to contribute to the building they saw on display on our website and in the library. This light-filled addition will double the current square footage of the library and add much-needed quiet areas and meeting space, as well as addressing accessibility issues. It is a building that the community will be proud of and that readers, learners and community groups can enjoy. We cannot give the generous contributing community anything less! New library buildings are springing up all over Ontario to meet the ever-increasing demand for flexible, public space. Our new building plans offer comfortable, versatile spaces, allowing us to expand our collection and our programming.

In order to start building in 2020 we have a few short months to raise the additional funds that we need to gain Council approval to move forward. To date we have raised $1,850.000 or 67 per cent of the project total. We need $950,000 more. Shortly you may receive a letter in the mail asking for your support. It is our hope that those of you who have already given will consider an additional gift and those of you who may not have made a donation yet will consider this project. All donations over $20 will receive a tax receipt.

It is significant to note that when we have achieved our project goal only 11 per cent of the cost will have been borne by the tax base. In a community of this size this is astounding. I don’t think there is another project of the many just completed, in progress, or proposed in Ontario that have been or will be delivered thanks almost entirely to the goodwill and earnest efforts of the community. You can donate by cheque made out to The County of Prince Edward Public Library and mailed to 208 Main Street, Picton, ON K0K 2T0 or by credit card through CanadaHelps.org.

-Barbara Sweet