I was delighted at how many new faces I saw during the open house at Atascadero’s new library building. Over the past 45 years, I’ve attended many, many events either as a newsman or private citizen.
I’ve written in the past that I generally see the same people at many of these events — ribbon cuttings, concerts in the park, chamber activities, school plays, Colony Days and more.
But on that Sunday afternoon less than 10 days ago, I got the feeling that Atascadero as a town is on to something. That something is support for a great big new library closer to the heart of the community.
With the close of escrow last month on the two-story structure built on the site where Atascadero’s 1915 Tent City was erected, a larger, state-of-the-art library is definitely in this city’s future. The new building will also house other county services.
Atascadero Friends of the Library must raise $1 million to complete the dream. That sounds like an impossible number to reach when you know it needs to come from sources outside the government.
I’m never one to think big, as my wife can attest.
We talked about donating, but felt we couldn’t give enough to make a difference.
Recently, I heard my friend Donn Clickard say that he and his wife Christine had donated $1,000 by making $100 payments over a 10-month period, as did a few other friends, such as Ray and Barbara Weyman and Bruce Bevans and his wife, Kaye Rasband.
On top of all that, Eileen O’Grady, vice president of Friends of the Library, pointed out that 1,000 donations of $1,000 makes a million.
Five hundred such donations at a $100 a month is a half-million bucks. The city of Atascadero has about 28,000 people living on almost 10,000 parcels. Thousands more reside within the Central Coast region.
All of a sudden, getting a bunch of private citizens to raise a million dollars sounds not only doable, but something even my wife and I can contribute to at this stage of our economic life, being both retired and living mostly on Social Security like many of our fellow citizens.
So we took the pledge at the library open house and encourage others to join those who have already donated generously to speed up this whole library project.
Money from San Luis Obispo County and the city of Atascadero, along with donations already contributed by Friends of the Library, has resulted in a stunning new building just made for a community library.
Tax-deductible donations may be made payable to Friends of the Library, P.O. Box 9, Atascadero, CA 93423.
If indeed it does take a village to raise a child, it only makes sense when that same village can build a library.
Lon Allan can be reached at 466-8529 or firstname.lastname@example.org.