Blakesburg, Iowa – The Friends of the Blakesburg Public Library is looking to expand its membership as a key part of its 20/20 Vision strategic plan. Exciting things are in store for the organization in the next few years, but the focus of its “20/20 Vision” strategic plan is to raise funds to renovate a building it purchased so the library will have a permanent home by the end of 2020. In order to achieve this goal, the organization needs to grow, and that is where the Friends’ current membership drive comes into play.
It is time for current members to renew their annual membership, and for new members to join the organization. Anyone interested in seeing the library continue to offer great programs and services which are free to the public, is encouraged to help support the library by joining the Friends of the Blakesburg Public Library. The membership fee to join the 501(c)(3) organization is $10 per individual, or $25 per family. Anyone is welcome to become a member or the organization, even non-Blakesburg residents.
The Friends of the Blakesburg Public Library have provided library support in many ways. The organization was awarded a $7,000 grant by the Legacy Foundation in 2016 that enabled the library to purchase eight public access computers, Microsoft Office software for the computers, a laptop computer and projection system and screen and other computer and technology peripherals. In addition, the Friends group has funded two matching grants that resulted in the library receiving approximately $3,000 worth of new hardcover children and young adult books over the past four years. The Friends of the Library have also provided funds to support the annual Father-Daughter dance, Mother-Son events, and the Collaborative Summer Reading Program. Having a modern, accessible library is a quality of life issue for every community, and Blakesburg is no exception. Libraries offers access to informational, educational and recreational resources regardless of age, gender, race, socio-economic status, or any other designation.
Through fund-raising efforts and donations (including one major donation), the Friends of the Blakesburg Public Library purchased a 2,350-square-foot building in Blakesburg. The organization has hired Rod Curtis of Curtis Architecture & Design in Ottumwa as the project developer. The tentative plan is available for public review at the library. The projected renovation start date for exterior work is this summer, with the interior work being completed in three additional phases through 2020.
The organization is currently raising funds for the renovation. All donors will be recognized with a “Giving Tree” installation in the new facility. A current effort, “100 Wildcats with $100” reached about half of its $10,000 goal from April through December 2018. Anyone who would like to contribute to the 100 Wildcats with $100 fundraising effort, or who would like to join the organization, can mail a check with notation what the check is for, to Friends of the Blakesburg Public Library, PO Box 43, Blakesburg, IA 52536.