“People love their library. No question,” says Linda Moffat, president of the Friends of the Annapolis Royal Library. “It’s a busy place.”
The problem is its size. Smaller than 1,000-square-feet, the former fire hall garage is simply too small for the community’s needs. In 2015, more than 1,900 people used library cards at the Annapolis Royal Library. In October, an average of 80 people a day visited the library.
Because space is so limited, extra programming, clubs, and meetings take place outside the library’s hours of operation.
“It was quite sufficient 25 years ago,” says Moffat.
But now, she finds it crowded, noisy, and “not functional for what we need.”
The Annapolis Royal town council chose a location: the former Annapolis Royal Regional Academy cafeteria, also known as the Academy. Now, the Friends of the Annapolis Royal Library are raising money for the renovation, equipment and furnishings.
To encourage donations, the Academy will be hosting Academy Library Day on April 22. The event will launch public fundraising for the new library.
The day will start off with acknowledgments of early donors, as well as recognition of a “very significant” grant from Annapolis County. The event will also include a Read-a-thon co-sponsored by the Annapolis West Education Centre’s Social Issues Club, local authors varying in genre, a local illustrator, and Parks Canada Historian Brenda Dunn speaking about Fort Anne. Moffat invites community members to come “chat, have a cup of coffee” with the special guests.
“I think it’s going to be a fun day,” says Moffat.
Currently, $140,000 has been raised by Friends of the Annapolis Royal Library through donations and grants. Moffat says the majority of money raised so far has come from passionate community members, with $30,000 donated from just one family.
“I’m really touched from the amount of support,” says Moffat.
It will cost approximately $200,000 for renovations, and an additional $100,000 for furnishings and equipment. The Friends of the Annapolis Royal Library have set a goal of $225,000 by the end of summer. Moffat believes this goal is attainable.
Academy Library Day is free to attend, with a donation table available. Coffee, cookies and pizza will be sold, as well as a book sale.
Go online: for more information on the new Annapolis Royal Library, visit: http://arlibraryfriends.org/.