Inside The Library: Successful Cabaret supports new MILL space

The Friends of the Picton Library held their second annual Cabaret on Sunday, May 27 at the Prince Edward Yacht Club. The musical afternoon raised money in support of the MILL (Musical Instrument Lending Library), specifically for the MILL’s home in the new addition to the Picton branch.

The very successful instrument lending program, housed in Milford and Bloomfield branches currently, will expand into the Picton branch with the building of the new addition. Not only will we then have instruments to lend out from the Picton branch, but we will have a sound proof recording room. This sound proof room will be an extension of the Makerspace area. Staff members Julie Lane and Whitney Shantz have toured existing such spaces in libraries in Southern Ontario. They are looking forward to using this new addition to the maker space and will be on hand to help aspiring musicians.

The music world turned out in force on Sunday to support Don Hinde and Mario Panacci the two volunteers who are the driving force behind the MILL. Without Hinde and Panacci we would not be able to run the program – they are the expertise and brains behind the MILL.

Seventeen local musicians donated their time to support this program that offers fledgling musicians the instrument they need to get started. Anyone can become a member of the MILL. It is a $10 membership fee for two years. It is the young members of the MILL. that warm Hinde’s heart. He will often tell me of a parent and child who have visited him on the weekend in Milford or Bloomfield to obtain an instrument.

“It is a lot of money for young families to invest” he will say,” but this is a way for them to get started”. “You should have seen their eyes light up! … and this child is going to be good too!”

Doug and Evelyn Sloane, long-time chair and secretary, respectively, of the Picton Friends of the Library are inviting anyone interested in helping with the efforts of the Friends to contact them through the Picton branch. The group runs regular book sales, dinners and of course the Cabaret to raise funds to provide enhancements to the Picton branch.

“Our efforts this year are more important than ever” says Doug. “We have a goal – June, 2019 we break ground for our expansion. The Cabaret raised $1,073 for the addition. We can do so much more. There is the Better Book Sale coming up in the fall and we are always open to new ideas. So we welcome you and your creativity.”

On a sad note, this month the Friends lost their long-time treasurer in Marian Sly. Marian was at the door last year to take the money for the first annual Cabaret and she attended every book sale the Friends ever sponsored to man the cash box. I have lost count of how many there have been. She was a faithful and hard worker whose practicality and dry sense of humour always made an event more fun. We wanted to honour Marian in some tangible way when she became ill and retired from the job. We did not get the chance. I owe Marian a lot, as does any library user in this community. She loved books and reading and she worked hard to make sure that the library branches in the county were the best that they could be.

-Barbara Sweet