Library campaign gets another boost

FORT FRANCES—Less than three weeks after kicking off the “Building for the Future” campaign, more than $184,500 has been donated towards a new Fort Frances Public Library.
The most recent good news was a $25,000 donation by former Fort Frances residents Dr. Richard and Sheila Moulton, who now reside in Victoria, B.C.
“I spoke with Dr. Moulton and he said they were big users of the library, especially Mrs. Moulton and their children when they were growing up here,” said Mark Kowalchuk, chair of the “Building for the Future” campaign.
“Since they’ve moved away, their children have had their own children, who are teenagers, and they continue to use the library,” he added.
“The Moultons have fond memories of Fort Frances, and certainly saw this as an opportunity to reflect on how much they enjoyed being in town and the services the community provided to them,” noted Kowalchuk.
Unlike some of the other larger donations so far, the Moultons’ will not be dedicated to a particular room in the new library.
Kowalchuk said it’s been encouraging to see such generosity from the community—whether it’s former or current residents—since the campaign started.
“We’re getting there,” he remarked, adding he’s aware of some other sizable donations on the horizon.
“I’m really pleased with how it’s going. We have lots of donations and lots of pledges coming in,” chief librarian Margaret Sedgwick said yesterday as she looked over the donor wall upstairs at the current library.
“We’re getting more pledges, and they’re being spread over the five-year term,” noted Kowalchuk.
Sedgwick said some people have donated in honour of the living and some in memory of the deceased.
“There are people that have found reading important to them and shared it with their children and grandchildren, and now those children and grandchildren are recognizing that dedication and honouring these people while they’re still alive,” added Kowalchuk.
Everyone is being encouraged to give to the campaign. Those who want to give should call the library at 274-9879 or drop by in person.
Donations in any amount are welcome, and donors even can spread their pledges over five years. Payment options, like Mastercard, VISA, or automatic deductions, are something donors should consider.
All donations over $25 will be issued a tax receipt.
Kowalchuk also said people should keep an eye open for the “Building for the Future” campaign booth at the Chamber of Commerce’s annual home and leisure coming up next weekend at the Memorial Sports Centre.
As previously reported, the new library—to be located at the corner of Second Street East and Reid Avenue—will cost an estimated $3.8 million, with the local fundraising campaign having to raise $750,000.
The balance is being funded through government grants, such as the $1.6 million announced by the Ontario Ministry of Culture in early February.
The concept behind the 17,000 sq. ft. library is to be a modern facility that offers a variety of programs and services to meet the technological and literacy needs of the community.
It is to be “a place for neighbours to get together, for ideas to be shared, for events to take place, and for people to spend time together,” according to “Building for the Future” campaign materials.
The new library will be a single-level building, accessible to everyone. It will feature a variety of reading areas, including a fireplace lounge and a reading garden, a larger computer area, lower shelves and wider aisles, as well as face-out book displays to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.
It also will have study rooms, a children’s area (with separate areas for pre-schoolers and older children), a storytime/children’s programming room, a teen area with lounge seating and computers, and a multi-purpose/board meeting room.
As well, plans call for a self-checkout station for convenience and privacy, washrooms that are accessible to everyone, additional office, workroom, and storage space for library staff, ample parking, and improved energy efficiencies.