PORT ELGIN, N.B. – The Friends of the Port Elgin Public Library, a committee comprising area individuals, is getting a quick start to raising funds for the relocation of the area’s library. The original library, which was closed over a year ago, had been for many years located in the former village office building on West Main Street.
The provincial government has invested $98,300 in the new facility, which will soon be located in the Port Elgin Regional School (PERS), but the community is still responsible for raising some $30,000 - $40,000 to complete the renovations.
A small number of interested individuals, including Memramcook-Tantramar MLA Bernard LeBlanc and District Education Council chair Harry Doyle, turned out for the fund-raising campaign launch, held recently at the PERS.
“The Port Elgin Public Library is a very important piece of our community, for all age levels. It serves our entire area, all the way from Cape Tormentine to Baie Verte and every point in-between. And it’s going to be a wonderful addition to the school, providing extra literacy opportunities for our children – there will be so many more benefits in having it here,” Sharon Allen, committee chairperson said during the event.
Port Elgin Village councillor Val MacDermid appealed to the residents and businesses of the entire region to assist in the fund-raising initiatives for the library.
“The village council is adamant that we will not lose our library…I don’t care what we have to do, the library is not leaving this community…it is too valuable to everyone in the entire region. So I ask that we all work together, that people do what they can to support the fund-raising initiatives that will be organized over the next few months to raise the funds needed to complete the renovations for our new library,” she said.
Doyle also pledged support for the new library, noting that PERS is very important to the community both as a school and as the location of the Port Elgin and Region Health Centre. And, he added, now that value will be made even stronger with the addition of a public library. And although the Anglophone East School District was unable to provide financial support for the renovations, it has given the library its first five years of occupancy in the school at no charge.
During the campaign launch a raffle draw was held, culminating the first fund-raising effort. The committee also launched a ‘Buy a Book Spine’ initiative, appealing to area individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations to donate various levels of funding. All donors will have their names displayed either on ceremonial book spines, or in a book of appreciation, both of which will be on permanent display in the new library location. Donations can be dropped off, or mailed to the Port Elgin Village Office.
The committee is also sponsoring a country music concert on October 14, with tickets on sale at various local retail outlets.
Allen encouraged the greater community to support the various fund-raising initiatives which will be launched in the months ahead.
“We’re hoping the community will once again demonstrate the spirit of generosity for which it is well known; and will come together to support our new library,” she said.
More information on the new library fund-raising initiatives can be found on the committees’ Facebook page.