A benefit concert held this past Friday evening raised approximately $4,500 for equipment for the library, which has so far received $300,000 in funds and donations. The target goal for this expansion project is roughly $500,000.
Through the library expansion, the size of the building will more than double as the overall area of the structure will skyrocket to 28,000 square feet. The creation of additional space will enable the installment of a computer lab, fitted with up-to-date PC’s, as well as conference and meeting rooms. Three new study/tutor rooms will also be added the structure. SmartBoard technology will be implemented into the new computer lab and children’s story time area as well.
Furthermore, the additional space will help create room for supplementary book shelves, which will enable the library to expand its current collection.
The Ashe County Library Board’s chaiwoman, Sally Zwadyk, elaborated on the need for additional books.
“The additional room will enable us to expand our current collections and volumes of books,” Zwadyk said. “In the past, we had to take a book off a shelf every time we added a new one. The last time we experienced anything higher than zero growth was around 1990.”
Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new structure was on May 19 and the project is piloted by Vannoy and Sons Construction Company in Jefferson.
Two additional fundraisers are planned. They include “Bricks for Books” campaign and a Thanksgiving concert in November.
The “Bricks for Books” project started in July and enabled donors to inscribe a personal message on one of the bricks used in the actual construction process of the expansion campaign for a $100 donation.
In November, a presentation by George Hamilton IV entitled “Thanksgiving in The Country” will depict through song and tale what the pilgrims endured on the Mayflower voyage to the New World and how they expressed their gratitude for a bountiful harvest through the first American Thanksgiving. This particular event will take place Saturday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hensley Hall of the West Jefferson United Methodist Church.
Zwadyk emphasized the overall success of Friday’s concert and the aspirations she holds for future benefits.
“It was a wonderful concert and sold out rather quickly,” Zwadyk said. “Everyone had a great time and the audience requested an encore performance following the show. The concert in November will be the first time we have had a Thanksgiving concert in Ashe County and will likely sell out like the concerts we have done here before.”
Tickets for the November concert are $15 and will be available for sale in October. Currently, the Ashe County Public Library is temporarily located at Jefferson Station, which has been the home of the library since late March, and will remain there until the expansion project is complete in June 2009. For more information about the “Bricks for Books” drive please contact the library at 846-2041.