During public consultations last fall regarding what services should be provided in a newly renovated Tillsonburg Public Library, some of the community’s top suggestions were quiet study areas, local history resources, more programming, better collections, and a welcoming space for children.
Thanks to a $40,400 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the library will be able to furnish two quiet study rooms, provide a microfilm scanner-printer in the local history area, four Early Literacy stations and accompanying furniture, DVD displayer units on casters, and lightweight tables and stacking chairs for the program room.
An open house was held Friday, from 4:30-6 p.m., to recognize the Trillium grant and highlight the renovations.
“Our libraries provide education, entertainment and bring the people of our community together,” said Ernie Hardeman, Oxford MPP. “I’m pleased that through this OTF grant the Tillsonburg library will be able to provide more reading space as well as expanded library services and programming.”
“We’re looking forward to being able to show the community what we have planned for library service in Tillsonburg,” said Lisa Miettinen, CEO, Oxford County Library. “The renovated library facility will be a dynamic, comfortable, and welcoming place, offering a wide range of programs and services.”
Tillsonburg Public Library joined Oxford County Library on Jan. 1, 2013. Extensive renovations at the Library Lane facility are well underway, with an anticipated re-open date of July 2013. During renovations, library operations continue at a temporary location at 164 Broadway.
“Thanks to the staff for taking this temporary facility and making it such a welcoming place,” said Don McKay, Oxford County Warden. “The community obviously has embraced it, and that was our vision in doing it. We have bigger dreams and visions ahead, and today we’ve gathered with some partners who are going to help us do that.”
“Congratulations to one and all for a job well done,” said Hardeman. “Partly because of the reconstruction, the new process – the ability of the larger structure of Oxford County being able to share their resources across the whole county – I think will improve the services for one and all. Not only for the people of Tillsonburg who will get County Library services, but people in the rest of the County who will have the support of Tillsonburg to provide that same type of service across the County.”
“What we were looking at specifically in this application was funding that allows the creation of quiet study places, comfortable seating areas and child-specific areas,” said Bob McFarland, a representative from OTF. “Which will undoubtedly increase the number of people accessing the library, and will be engaging the entire community.”
Other highlights of the renovated library include: improved on-site collections and more than 200,000 items available on-hold… growing collections of electronic and downloadable resources, including eBooks and eMagazines… wired lounge chairs with laptop tables… a hot beverage machine with café tables... two homework computers… a reading tree as the focal point of the children’s area… and a dedicated youth area for teens.
“We’re looking forward this new library and we will use this money well,” said Township of Zorra Mayor Margaret Lupton, chair of the Oxford County Library Board.
“I’m hoping that when you come down in July, that I will be able to have fulfilled my promise to you, that you’re going to be wowed when you walk in the doors.”
“We’re very, very fortunate and grateful in our community of Tillsonburg,” said Tillsonburg Mayor John Lessif, “for the many dollars that Trillium has seen in their wisdom to pour back into our community – a number of projects. This particular project came to our community through the County Library system, but at the end of the day it’s being spent in our community.
“I want to say thank you very much and express the appreciation of the Town of Tillsonburg, not just for this grant but also for past grants.”
A leading grantmaker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF contributes to healthy and vibrant communities.