NORTH WALES, PA – December 29,
2008. Donors who live in North Wales Borough, Upper Gwynedd
Township and the other municipalities served by the North Wales Library have met
a $100,000 challenge, essentially doubling their contributions to the Library’s
$1.9 million Imagine the Possibilities Capital Campaign.
Total project costs, which include
purchasing and renovating the Library’s new facility at 322 S. Pennsylvania
Ave., North Wales, are estimated to be approximately $1.9 million. Members of
the Library’s Capital Campaign Committee have been pursuing grants, donations
and in-kind contributions from the community and local and regional businesses
in an effort to meet acquisition and renovation
An anonymous donor issued the challenge in
the spring, offering to match residents’ contributions to the library when the
donations totaled $100,000.
To date, factoring in anonymous donations,
the residents’ contributions and the challenge grant and a $350,000
revitalization grant from Montgomery County, the North Wales Library has raised
The North Wales Library is midway through
its Imagine the Possibilities campaign to raise $1.9 million for the acquisition
and renovation of the new library and Community Center on Pennsylvania Avenue in
North Wales. The North Wales Library has been providing adult and children’s
services in roughly 3,000 square feet at North Wales Elementary School since
1927. The new space offers more than 10,000 square feet. Because membership in
the library is free to all Pennsylvania residents, membership among residents in
Upper Gwynedd, Montgomery Township and Towamencin Township has been growing.
As the North Wales Library begins a new chapter in its
history, it looks to the community to make it a novel success.
library will be moving to a new 10,000-square-foot location on Pennsylvania
Avenue from its current 3,000-square-foot location at North Wales Elementary
School. The library has been there since 1927, but the school district did not
renew the lease.
The plan is for the new location to be a library and a
community center, complete with a coffeehouse area and state-of-the-art
amenities. The facility will tout geothermal heating. The three-phase project
will begin Nov. 13 with interior demolition and renovation of the warehouse on
Pennsylvania Avenue, and continue through the beginning of 2009 with a
completion date of May 2009.
The library will not close while renovations
are done. It will simply move its daily operations into the new building while
remaining open to the public.
A capital campaign committee is dedicated
to raising $1.9 million for the acquisition and renovation of the library
through the "Imagine the Possibilities" campaign.
"We have raised
$950,000 already," said Ana Maria Hartman, chair of the events committee for the
capital campaign. "We're almost halfway there."
Part of the campaign
includes fundraising, and one such event will occur Saturday, Nov. 15, in
Kulpsville at The Inn of Towamencin at 11:30 a.m.
The North Wales Library
will host "Book Club and Friends," a luncheon featuring a trio of
Tickets are $35 and reservations are required by Nov.
About 20 people are signed up for the event so far.
featured authors will be Santi Buscemi, professor of English and chair of the
Department of English at Middlesex County College in Edison, N.J., and author of
"A Reader for Developing Writers" and "An ESL Workbook;" poet, essay writer and
short story scribe Harry Groome, author of "Wing Walking"; and local North Wales
resident and children's book writer Janet Lord, author of "Here Comes Grandma"
and "Albert the Fix-It Man."
"We are moving to a new location and we
really need the financial support of the community for the expanded library and
community center to become a reality," said Hartman. "We are doing several
fundraisers, and this is our largest one."
Hartman said the authors are
excited to come out and help in the library's goal.
"Janet Lord is a
supporter of the library, and we thought she was a nice choice. Harry Groome is
really very excited about coming and helping the library. He knows it's a big
endeavor and is excited about helping us out," she said. "Santi Buscemi's
brother is a friend of mine. When I told him about the library and what was
going on, he was excited and wanted to help."
Hartman said the move is
the biggest thing to happen in North Wales.
"We hope people in North
Wales and the surrounding areas support our endeavor and come to the event," she
said. "The library is so important to the whole community. You are not helping a
whole group of people; you are helping the entire community. This is a big asset
Membership to North Wales Library is free to all
Pennsylvania residents due to the library joining ACCESS PA. The library has
seen its membership numbers grow with residents from Upper Gwynedd, Montgomery
and Towamencin townships joining the library.
A second fundraiser is set
for Nov. 23 at Montgomery Theater in Souderton. Proceeds from ticket sales to
the production of "Last Night of Ballyhoo" for the 3 p.m. show will go to the
Hartman knows the capital campaign will meet its goal. More
importantly, the new library and community center will be a
"It's exciting," she said. "You can't have doubts. You have to
have faith and keep going."
Call (215) 699-5410 or email email@example.com to
obtain tickets for the event.
Visit www.northwaleslibrary.org for more
,A county revitalization grant has given the North Wales
Library a big fundraising boost and library members are now almost halfway to
the total they'll need to relocate to their future home.
Ana Hartman did the honors of
updating the thermometer-shaped fundraising meter recently, while her husband
Harry and library executive director Jayne Blackledge looked on.
numbers are looking pretty good. We started pretty seriously with fundraising at
the beginning of the year, and right now we're sitting at $928,000," said Harry
Hartman, treasurer for the North Wales Library.
And after word of the
revitalization grant came down and Ana (a member of the library's Capital
Campaign Committee) filled in a little more of that thermometer, they're looking
for even more help from the community, to meet their total fundraising goal of
"Right now we're in the final stages of planning the new
building," Blackledge said.
"It'll have a fireplace with plenty of
seating, because we literally have only one chair where we are now, and a lobby
area with permanent display cases of local artwork, so it'll be a little
museum-y," she said.
The current facility occupies roughly 3,000 square
feet and has been housed within North Wales Elementary School since
The new library building on
Pennsylvania Avenue, which
Blackledge hopes they will occupy by the summer of 2010, will offer more than
10,000 square feet, allowing the library to offer much more to
Plans for the new library were revealed earlier this year, and
include plenty of seating and reading spaces, computer tables with Internet
access, and two public meeting rooms with a small adjoining
"We've really been trying to take into account what our patrons
would like to see. We'll have two skylights too, it'll be a bright, cheerful
place," she said.
To cover the costs of all of that, however, the Capital
Campaign Committee sent out a letter last month to all residents in the 19454
ZIP Code, including North Wales Borough and Upper Gwynedd and Montgomery
townships, asking for tax-deductible donations.
Members of the committee
have also been pursuing in-kind contributions, and grants such as the $350,000
revitalization grant recently awarded to the library by the Montgomery County
"We had $400,000 come in from an anonymous donor, which
covered half of the purchase price of the new building, and we just got the
$350,000 grant from the county commissioners," Harry Hartman said.
had about $65,000 to $70,000 come in so far in donations, along with about
$70,000 in a match from the anonymous donor, who's willing to match up to
$100,000 in donations if we can get that much," he said.
grant covers almost 20 percent of the $1.9 million the library estimates it
needs to complete relocation and renovation to their new property, and the
anonymous donor's contributions could reach $500,000, more than 25 percent of
Kirk Field, the library board's president, also expressed his
thanks for the county Revitalization Board's support.
"That support not
only provides needed dollars for the project, but also lends broad endorsement
for our plans to make this new library facility a great community center and
asset to serve residents of the borough, and its surrounding townships," Field
said. "These funds will help convert an outdated industrial building into an
attractive intellectual center."
And these days, free public libraries
like North Wales' are more important than ever for the community, Blackledge
"Especially when the economy turns down, people don't purchase
books, they go to libraries instead. If you're looking for a free program or a
place to take your kids, we have plenty, and if you need online access, or even
to apply for a job online, you'll be able to do that at our new library too,"