Yesterday was an exciting day for the Bailey Library Expanding Our Boundaries Campaign Team. We have reached the million-dollar goal of our campaign, and we were able to add two books indicating this on our sign outside the library. Oh, happy day!
What an achievement for a town of 6,000 with only a handful of businesses. The road has been long and, at times, very bumpy, but we did it thanks to awesome fund raising by the entire team and awesome grant writing by Liz Sienko, Mary Jane Auns, and George Ames. (Because of changes in work orders, we still have about $60,000 more to go, but the team feels confident that it can raise this additional money.)
After adding the last two books to the sign, we had a pizza party for the campaign team. Before, whenever we had a campaign-team gathering, it was in the original library’s fireplace room, which was crammed with bookshelves and tables. Now, we have an honest-to-God meeting room with two long beautiful oak tables that can comfortably seat twenty people. We have a big table in the adjoining events room where food can be served buffet style. How roomy and comfortable it all is and how much these rooms add to the library.
Sometimes, I still can’t believe we have this lovely expanded library for our town. As Shane-Malcolm Billings, the adult services librarian, likes to point out, with an average of 3,000 books being borrowed each month, books are still very much the center of Bailey Library. This is as it should be, and it warms my heart to think about how much Winthrop reads.
However, what the expanded library allows is plenty of room to hold events, and this summer is chock-full of activities for children and adults. Between books (and DVDs) being borrowed and the expanded space for events, it is my guess that Bailey Library will soon become the cultural center for the town.
When I think about this, all the hard work seems so worthwhile. (I must also admit that I am completely exhausted by all the library brouhaha and the wrangling with the town council about money for operating the library. )
But, there. Now that the grand opening is behind us and the budget is set for another year, I should be able to settle into summer and rest a bit.
Onward and upward.