The Libraries Build Strong Communities campaign is coordinating its final phase of fundraising with National Library Week, April 12-18. The annual observance, established to celebrate the contributions of the nation’s libraries and promote the use of all types of libraries, was first sponsored in 1958, the year the Amos Memorial Public Library first opened at its current location on North Street.
“In the 1950s, people were concerned that Americans were reading less because of the popularity of television and radio,” said Suzanne Cline, Executive Director of the Shelby County Libraries. “We face a similar situation now with the Internet and electronic technology, so every year in April, National Library Week is a reminder that libraries will always play an essential role in the vitality of a community, regardless of the current media.”
This year, the Shelby County Libraries are nearing the final stages of fundraising for a $4.8 million expansion and renovation to the Amos Memorial Public Library, which also serves five community locations throughout the county. The campaign has secured $4.2 million in gifts and pledges and has moved into the design development stage of construction with bidding scheduled for late fall and groundbreaking in March of 2016.
“We are pleased that our campaign can now reach out in addition to the major donors and coordinate our final public phase with National Library Week,” said Cindy Helman, campaign director. “We continue to focus on wrapping up our discussions with those who can support the library with larger gifts, but the library belongs to the community, and we want everyone to take ownership in a building that will serve the entire county.”
Beginning April 13, the libraries in Sidney, Anna, Botkins, Fort Loramie, Jackson Center, and Russia will unveil an “I Donated” promotional wall to encourage small donations. Displays will feature the name of the donor on a card in the shape of a book, which will be posted on the wall. Each card will be color-coded to indicate a donation at the $1, $5, $10, and $20 level.
Information on purchasing a natural stone paver to be laid in the new, paved areas of the building project will also be available. Pavers from a gift to the campaign of Western Ohio Cut Stone can be purchased with a minimum $100 donation and may be inscribed as an honor or a memorial.
On April 19, Lane Park will offer Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and donate the proceeds to the campaign. The following week, on Tuesday, April 21, at 6:30 p.m. the Amos Memorial Public Library will host an information session to describe the building project and the upgrades patrons can expect when it is completed.
Helman urges individuals to donate soon. “Our timeline for fundraising is coming to an end, so we encourage anyone who has been mulling a gift to the library to take action within the next few weeks. We have been humbled by the generosity of our major donors. They make it possible for us to lay the foundation of a remarkable change in our city library and its services to the county, but the small gifts by the thousands of patrons who visit the system each month will determine the reach of the vision.”
Gifts of less than $100 may be contributed at the Amos Memorial Public Library or at any of the locations in Ft. Loramie, Russia, Anna, Botkins, or Jackson Center.
Donors who wish to make a larger gift may pledge over a three-year period and are asked to make checks payable to the Community Foundation of Shelby County with ‘library’ on the memo line and send to the Foundation at 100 S. Main Ave. Suite 202, Sidney, Ohio 45365.
A $100-$999 gift is eligible for a commemorative stone paver to be laid in the paved areas. A $1,000-$9,999 gift will be noted in etched glass on a wall inside the North Street entrance, and gifts of $10,000 or greater will be preserved on a permanent plaque in the new addition. For larger gifts, a list of naming opportunities is available. More information on the project and ways to contribute may be found at the library website shelbyco.lib.oh.us.