In 2018, we will be working hard to raise the remaining funds for the 2018 Picton branch addition project. The library board is currently working on a fundraising strategy and that will promise to herald into Prince Edward County a whole host of events for the community. Though we will be holding fundraisers and for a short while be deviating from our principle of only offering free events, they will also be informative, stimulating and offer opportunity to residents of all ages for entertainment.
I am happy to announce that Charlotte Gray has graciously agreed to help with our capital campaign. Gray is the author of The Promise of Canada, The Massey Murder, Gold Diggers, Nellie McClung, Reluctant Genius, The Museum Called Canada, Canada: a portrait in letters, Flint and Feather, Sisters in the Wilderness and finally Mrs. King (all available at the library). She will be in Picton on July 10 at 2 p.m. at the Town Hall. You will want to hear this polished speaker! Tickets are $25 and they will be available shortly to reserve. This is just one event that we have in store for 2018. We will be announcing more events shortly and you will also hear from our honorary chair of fundraising in upcoming columns.
I would also like to share with you a little bit of the vision for the expanded library. In the coming weeks we will share more of what will be possible with a larger building. Looking forward to doubling our space in the Picton branch one of the areas that we have identified for enhancement is our Makerspace.
In the February issue of Maclean’s magazine – now available at your local branch to borrow – there is an article by Brian Bethune entitled “Coding, 3D printer. And books.” The article talks about the inspiring library builds that are springing up across Canada and the access that modern libraries provide to modern technologies. Bethune comments that the modern library is “about access to technology as much as to knowledge”. Though the ‘what’ that the current user enters the library to access may be different in some cases, than in years past, the idea of libraries as the most democratic of institutions or as great equalizers, has not changed.
In Prince Edward County, library users should have access to all that patrons of Toronto Public Library find available to use, borrow and discover. Thankfully because of such grants as the Stark Family Fund, the Library Strategic Development Fund and the generosity of our users we are pretty competitive. No one in this community should be disadvantaged because they cannot afford or access reliable Internet connectivity.
Staff members Julie Lane and Whitney Shantz have visited several libraries in Southern Ontario that have been recommended as good examples for this program. The good news that they returned with was that there was very little that we did not have. We have 3-D printers, green screens, robotics, ode-a-Pillars, Makey Makey, podcasting equipment and more. However, what we lack is the space to have these things out all of the time for patrons to access. They came back very envious of the big, open spaces where adults and children can get creative – whenever they feel like it!
Over this year we will be continuing to look for best examples in library spaces and we will continue to listen to your ideas for our expansion. The plans are available for viewing on the TV display at the front circulation desk in Picton. Please think about supporting our expansion project and watch this column for updates.