Expansion goal a great way to start 2021

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

What a way to end the year!

Excitement kept building through December as we watched the thermometer rise on the sign outside the Picton Branch Library front door. It started when an anonymous donor promised to match all donations made before Dec 31st up to a maximum of $100,000. We could tell this “match” sparked your generosity too!

Library lovers entered into the spirit of the season and gave generously, from the individuals and families that stepped up to launch our campaign, to the generosity of groups such as the Kinsmen who contributed from funds raised from their online Bingo and the Prince Edward County Fire and Rescue who donated the proceeds of their Christmas Tree sale. And we are delighted that you helped ensure that the full $100,000 match was not only met but was exceeded!

Thank you to the many library lovers who gave so generously.

As we headed back into lockdown after Christmas the knowledge that construction on the Picton branch’s much needed, and long awaited, extension would start in the Spring gives us something to look forward to. “As we had hoped, the green light from Council assured our community the project would proceed, and inspired it’s generosity. We are so grateful,” said Devon Jones, Library Board chair. And since the physical branches have been closed in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have regularly heard how much you have missed visiting the library in person, underscoring the importance of a larger library building where people can be physically distanced. Especially as we recognize that online services and e-books are not equally accessible to all our patrons and do not entirely meet the need.

The $2.8 million dollar Expansion project will see the Picton branch double in size creating a welcoming, accessible library for all, however, there remains $508,000 dollars yet to raise. On-going fundraising events for 2021 started on January 14th with Sobeys creating an opportunity for you to give at the cash register. We are very thankful to Jamie Yeo and the all the staff at Sobeys for their ongoing support of the library expansion.

If you would like to join the many groups and individuals who have given generously to make this project possible, you can donate online at loveyourlibrary.ca, or by cheque. If you would like to discuss sponsoring a room in the new building or naming opportunities, please contact (613) 476-5962 or email fundraising@peclibrary.org.

Library branches are closed through this provincial lockdown, but curbside services, dropboxes and online resources are still available. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call (613) 476-5962.

-Liz Zylstra