I want to start off with some important and exciting news. We have now exceeded 80 percent ($1,221,000) of our fundraising goal! Isn’t that amazing? Over $1.2 million has been donated in a town of only 6,000 people. That has to be some kind of record. Thanks to all 750-plus of you who have given generously to make this possible.
It also means that we have entered our next phase — completing the interior design and creating the bid documents needed to start construction.
For anyone waiting to contribute until you were sure this dream was going to become reality, now is the time to get on board. The building is purchased, and we are ready to finish and furnish our new library.
With the new Hind Foundation challenge grant, we need only raise $140,000 to start construction. If you haven’t contributed before, this is a chance to double your gift.
In last month’s article, we investigated the library of the future. But what meaning does a library hold for people today? This question was asked throughout the U.S. and here in Cambria over the last year. I’ve included a sample of responses from people of various ages to encourage us all to get this new facility finished and ready.
One 12-year-old explains how the library helps him get ideas. “My library means to me a castle of books. It is where my mood changes and in here I am able to find every book of the world. It is a bank of knowledge and information. It gives me flying ideas and encourages me to create the best think in the world.”
A mother put her thoughts and feelings in rhyme:
My library means to me a very special place to be.
Memories of my kids at story time,
Singing and learning a nursery rhyme.
Stories feeding childhood imagination,
Looks on their sweet faces pure fascination
The place my children first picked up a book,
Delightfully squealing “Hey mummy, come look!”
For a couple of locals, the library is “better than home — the air is clean, brightly lit and spacious. It is comfortable and inspiring. From the sea of strangers, I meet my community here.” “The library is my sanctuary, somewhere to escape, somewhere to relax, somewhere to be free, free of time, free of chores, free to be me. Thank you.”
Another person reminds us of one of the true purposes of the library. “I love libraries because they, more so than any other institution, are emblematic of the American spirit. Libraries embody the idea that you can better yourself
through your own efforts. They are a symbol of another long-standing tradition, too: that of a community caring for itself. This is especially true (here). We take care of each other, and through our libraries we ensure that every citizen has access to the resources he or she needs to succeed.”
Cambrians, your response to the last challenge grant was nothing less than fantastic. Please step up again and help us match this new challenge over the next three months! I am hoping that you will consider joining me in giving a gift of $1,000 to your new library. As always, the community of Cambria thanks you.
And remember, as one of the respondents told us, “Some of the best friends I’ve ever made have lived in books.”
Former Cambria resident and services district director Greg Fitzgerald is coordinating fundraising for the Friends of the Cambria Library. Email him at email@example.com. “Our New Library” appears monthly on the third Thursday. For more information, go to www.cam briafol.org.