Local library project supported by Commonwell

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

You may remember that at the end of 2021 we asked you to go online and post your support for the Picton Branch Library expansion for an application we had submitted to the Commonwell L.E.A.F. fund. We are delighted to announce that thanks to your overwhelming show of support, our project, “A Place for YOUth” is one of twenty-one projects receiving funding from The Commonwell.

As the Commonwell explains, “during nearly two years of COVID restrictions, community support and locally-driven projects that foster learning, education and engagement have become more important than ever before. After seeing these local causes financially suffer during COVID, Commonwell stepped in with a new program to fund such causes. L.E.A.F., which stands for Learning and Engagement Accelerator Fund, is being used to help upgrade, update and even build new facilities or programming where communities come together to learn, share, play and gather.”

Our thanks to Cassidy Allison, former Prince Edward County resident and current employee of the Commonwell, who alerted us to the opportunity to apply for the funding. Thank you to everyone who took the time to share a comment in support of the application. It was remarkable to read your heartfelt descriptions of how the library has mattered in your life and the vision you have for the future of the library. This $100,000 funding will add youth spaces for gathering, sharing ideas, recreation, and contemplation – all of which will allow youth to spend time without spending money in a welcoming environment. The Commonwell funding isn’t our only exciting news in fundraising!

We are thrilled to share that in December 2020, 100 People Who Care – Prince Edward County showed that they love their library by supporting the Picton Branch Library expansion. Library board member Marion Hughes nominated the expansion project and when selected as the winning project, it resulted in a $9100 gift to the building project. 100 People Who Care Prince Edward County is based on the concept of bringing together a group of people who commit to meet four times per year, contribute $100 at each meeting, and make a huge impact on a local charity.

If you have been to the Picton Branch Library lately you will certainly have taken notice of the construction. It’s hard to miss! If you are coming to read or use the WIFI we suggest you bring noise-cancelling headphones. We’re thinking of the jackhammers and other noisy tools as “the song of progress” promising a larger library to come with quiet spaces and space for everyone. Take a moment to check out the growing collection of interesting finds that have emerged in the construction – there’s even an animal jawbone with teeth attached in addition to a surprising number of intact glass bottles.

You can also follow the construction livestream at loveyourlibrary.ca .

-Liz Zylstra