CLEARFIELD – The Joseph & Elizabeth Shaw Public Library has been a part of the Clearfield community for 77 years, opening in January of 1940.
Many residents remember when it was located in the building that now houses Clearfield Borough’s offices.
In spring of 1997, a new building opened to the public, which offered more space and updated features for patrons.
Now, the library board of trustees is looking to upgrade some things at the library, and they’ve kicked of a capital fundraising campaign just for that purpose.
The campaign has a dual purpose. The first is to raise money for needed repairs and upgrades. The second is to raise money for the endowment fund to keep the library in operation.
The goal is $250,000 with $100,000 earmarked for the building fund and $150,000 to the endowment fund.
According to board member Janice Aleksivich, some of the upgrades and improvements include a new roof, upgrades to the circulation desk and upgrading the security system.
“Technology is a constant upgrade need for us,” she noted. The public computers at the library are very important for the people in the area, especially those who don’t have Internet access at home and need to register their children for sports activities or kindergarten, or need the access for job searches.
Librarian Jayme Stonbraker said the roof has reached the end of its lifespan and must be replaced soon.
Another upgrade occurred this past fall when new LED lights were installed in the parking lot. She said they had hoped to wait until they had the funding in place first, but it quickly became a safety issue.
Campaign co-chairman Brian Wingard added there will be electrical upgrades and other repairs, but agreed that the roof is the most urgent need and will cost about $50,000.
The other purpose of the campaign is for the endowment fund. Wingard explained an endowment is something non-profits utilize.
Money is invested and the earnings from the investments are used for operating expenses. Costs continue to rise for everyone and the board of trustees wants to ensure that the library remains in good financial standing.
“We’re excited about this,” he said, adding they’ve been planning the campaign for about three months. Wingard explained that while costs rise, state funding has decreased from a high of about $80,000 in the 2000’s to less than $60,000 now.
Donors can allocate their donation to something specific, such as the roof or computers or leave the donation to the board. There is also flexibility, a donor can make a pledge and pay over a five-year period. And donations can include cash or appreciated stock.
The board appreciates any and all contributions, no matter how much someone is able to give.
Wingard said something people like to do is make a donation in honor or memory of someone. He said when the campaign is over they will publish a booklet listing the tiers of giving and the honorariums.
“People like to do that, especially for people who read to them or for a special teacher in their lives,” he said.
Anyone interested in the campaign can contact the library or stop by and pick up materials. There is also an email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stonbraker said she is looking forward to the campaign and serving the people of Clearfield County for years to come.
She said the library offers many great resources for everyone, and e-books have been especially popular recently. The children’s story hour is ongoing and the popular Books Sandwiched In will be kicking off in March.
Plans are also under way for this year’s summer reading programs, which start in June.