Yesterday (April 1) at 2 p.m., the Berryville Public Library hosted a press conference outside the building to make several significant announcements. It may have been April Fool’s Day, but we weren’t fooling, and we were so excited to share our good news with our community!
So, what is the big news?
The short answer is we have made a lot of significant progress toward our long-held dream of building a new library facility. If you are a longtime reader of the blog, you know that this is something we have been working on for a long time. In fact, this has been something that many people in our community have dreamed of for years, but it was just that–a dream.
For the past few years, the library and a team of very dedicated volunteers have been taking active steps to make this plan a reality, and we were finally able to reveal how much progress we’ve made.
- The Friends of the Berryville Public Library are now a 501(C)3 charity, so all donations to the Friends, including donations for the building fund, are tax-deductible.
- We have building plans for a 10,000 square-foot building (over triple the size of our current facility), designed by Butch Berry and Rick Armellini. Interior designer Lisa Claybrook of Fayetteville is also working on the project. You seriously need to check out all the sketches of the proposed new library. It looks amazing!
- The Maria, Gene, and Jack Burch families have agreed to be the honorary chairs of our Berryville Library Building Project to raise $2.5 million by 2025 for us to build the new library. They ran Maverick Supply for over 45 years. Though they’ve all now retired from the business, they have deep roots in the community, are committed to both the betterment of our community and the building project, and are very much looking forward to encouraging other businesses to help support the building project as we move forward. The building project is a joint effort by the Berryville Library Advisory Board and the Friends of the Berryville Library.
- The George Estate has donated $500,000 to the building fund in honor of Burt and Alice George. Both Burt and Alice were tireless champions of the library. That’s already 20% of our fundraising goal!
- The Froman family has promised to match the first $5,000 donated between the press conference and April 7, Library Giving Day. And we are already well on our way to meeting that goal!
If you’re interested in learning more information on the building project, please check out our new website devoted to it.
Thanks to everyone who turned out for the press conference! Approximately 65 interested Friends, business leaders, elected officials, library patrons, and library lovers were on hand, not to mention hundreds who were watching the conference via Facebook live The high turnout demonstrates the community interest in the Berryville Public Library. Their support will be key in helping write the next chapter in the library’s history, just as our ancestors answered the call in 1938, 1950, and again in 1978 when we built new library facilities.
Also a big thank you to the Burch, George, and Froman families for the generous support of their time and money to this cause!
And thank you to the members of our Building and Fundraising Committees for their work on the building project and to Butch, Rick, and Lisa for their design work!
And thank you to all of our speakers, including Berryville Advisory Board and Friends presidents Joe Scott and Mary Knight, former Representative and Berryville native Tim Summers, and Berryville Mayor Tim McKinney!
And thank you to PR Coordinator Kristy Noble Tesch and Library Director Julie Hall for organizing the press conference!
And thank you to Friends Communication Committee Chair Calvin Cleaver for filming our Facebook live video of the entire press conference!
And thank you to library staffer Kelli Ramirez for taking pictures of the entire event!
And thank you to Kriste-Lee, Paul Engskov, and David Stephens for good-naturedly agreeing to keep the pictures and easels in place for the entire press conference!
We are so excited to be able to share this news with our community, but it’s important for us to remember that we still have a lot of work to do.
So . . . how can you help us reach our goal of having a new library by 2025?
- Donate to the capital campaign! We are now set up to process online donations, and we have a range of giving levels. All donations are appreciated.
- Join the Friends! This is a great way to stay updated on the building project and to show support for it. As we move forward with pursuing institutional donors and grants, it is vital that we show community support for the new library and having a thriving Friends group is one of the best ways we can do this. The number of members the Friends have is a key metric for this.
- Volunteer with the Friends! We host a range of fundraisers each year and also have committees that you can volunteer for. There are so many different ways you can help the Friends, from working events to baking to event planning and more.
- Like and share our posts on social media. (In addition to our Facebook page, we also have a group for the Friends.) The more people we have liking and sharing our posts, especially ones about the new library, the more we can spread the word!
- Sponsor matching challenges. We started doing matching challenges last year, and they have been hugely successful. In addition to the Fromans’ Library Giving Day matching challenge, we also did a matching challenge for summer reading and for Christmas movie watching. If you would like to sponsor a challenge, please contact us and let us know. We’re already planning summer reading and would love to do another matching challenge for it, as well as additional ones throughout the year. 🙂
Thanks so much again to all of you for your support! We’re looking forward to posting more updates as our building project moves forward.