The Rossland Public Library’s plans to fundraise $310,000 for library renewal have formally been launched.
The planned revitalization of the library builds on its success and supports its vision of a changing role in the community. The library now has a clear vision for its future role. This vision includes educating the public in regards to digital literacy. The library aims to become Rossland’s new centre for entertainment, inspiration and knowledge.
It has been more than thirty years since the Rossland Public Library opened its doors at the current location on Columbia Avenue. During this time, society’s access to information and the role of libraries has changed. Modern libraries are playing a key role in introducing and providing access to technology, supporting distributed learning models, cultivating imaginations, creative thought and maverick thinking, say the library’s board of directors.
By providing information reach and digital technologies, the library aims to have tangible outcomes in the form of further career opportunities, community development and up-skilling, and richer lives for those living in the region.
The library has already raised $33,686 through various grant and fundraising initiatives. This includes a $9,200 grant from Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) through their initiatives funding program. This money will be used to purchase computer tablets and software for a digital literacy program targeting three to five year olds.
“The early digital literacy program will help ensure all children can start school with a foundation of digital literacy,” said Debbie Nelson, one of the library’s board of directors.
The board of directors hopes that by revitalizing the space it will inspire people to engage with the library’s resources and appeal to them to walk through the doors.
“Ultimately, through an appealing space and interesting collection, the library’s goal is to support the development of each library visitor and in turn, the community,” said Nelson.
Nelson makes the point that when you have a personal connection to a project, be that through a donation or by volunteering time, it is so much more rewarding than simply receiving a handout to have the work completed. It offers the community a more collaborative approach to building public assets.
When asked about the number of projects actively fundraising in Rossland right now, Nelson, the library’s fundraising coordinator responded, “It is a sign there are a lot of hard working volunteers in Rossland with a vision to improve our community. Supporting a non-profit project connects you to the project. It is a personal contribution to community development and feels much different than when tax dollars build infrastructure.”
In March the library will hold an online auction. Expect to see experiences money cannot usually buy up for bids on the innovative online auction site. This is just one of the many ways the library will be raising funds for the revitalization project. Nelson does not see the revitalization project as a competing project in the community but one that will build a better Rossland for the whole community.
Based on their striking designs of other small libraries, Ratio Architecture from Vancouver have been selected as the revitalization project architect.
“We could not be happier with the design,” reports Chris D’Odorico, chair of the Rossland Library Renewal Committee and Library Board. “I think the community will be very excited when they see the unique and original ideas Ratio developed for our library,” he added.
The new floor plan increases public floor space by 29 per cent. This will be achieved through relocating and downsizing the librarian’s office and the newly accessible washrooms.
Sketches of the new library design are on display at the library. For more information or to make a donation visit the Rossland Library Renewal Project website at www.rosslandlibraryrenewal.com.