Library unveils John Wells Reading Lounge

John Wells holds the plaque that will be placed in the newly-named John Wells Reading Lounge. Submitted photo

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A seating area in the Port Dover library has been named after John Wells, who helped steer the fundraising committee in opening the branch five years ago.

Wells says he did not know the lounge was being named after him until the day of the celebration.

“(Norfolk library CEO) Heather (King) showed it to me, it was lovely,” Wells said about the plaque bearing his name. “I certainly appreciated the honour.”

The name John Wells Reading Lounge was chosen as a way for the community to show thanks to Wells for serving on the Norfolk County library board for more than 20 years and his leadership in fundraising for the new branch, which celebrated its fifth anniversary on May 5.

The community helped raise $200,000 in 2014 to create the Port Dover branch. The Fishing for Funds campaign was instrumental in inspiring the current Friends of the Library group, who have continued to raise funds and awareness for the local branch.

Wells was the leader of that fundraising campaign.  The former municipal politician gives credit to the resourceful team that he built to achieve the financial goals set for the project.

“I think it was relatively easy to fundraise for the library because the community of Port Dover certainly realized the need for a new library,” said Wells. “When people know there is a need it is much easier to have them support it.”

Wells served on City of Nanticoke and Norfolk County councils for several years.  He was Port Dover’s inaugural councillor for Norfolk County beginning in 2001.

Wells expressed his thanks to all who had worked so hard to make the new library in Port Dover a reality.

“We had the leadership of Heather, who certainly was a real go-getter as far as the library was concerned. The volunteers who served on the fundraising committee were certainly all, each and every one, very committed to raising the funds,” said Wells.

The public is welcome to drop into the Port Dover branch and spend time in the John Wells Reading Lounge.

“I think what is more important than the John Wells (Reading Lounge) is the fact that we have a library serving the needs of the community, that’s the important thing. I don’t think any one individual, while I appreciate the honour, I don’t think any one individual was any more important than anyone else. It was a group effort,” said Wells.

This announcement follows Wells being named the Port Dover Citizen of the Year in 2018.