Rendition of new library

Rendition of new library
The New Point Roberts Library Out of the Old Julius Firehall

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Present and Future

Three things:

1.  We'll be doing the produce table at the Saturday Market each Saturday from 10-1, at  the Community Center parking lot (west of the building).  If any of you have excess greens, plants, herbs, or whatever (I know, not much range at this time of the year, but last week we had strawberries to sage-which would not be an alphabetical listing), and you would be willing to donate them to the FOPRL, please bring them down during the market.  Lots of visitors were happy to buy all these things last week.  So, the more the better.  You have questions?  Call Judy at -3180.

2.  Book Sale this Saturday at the Community Center (indoors, I think), 10-2.  Lots of new used books; they just keep rolling in and then rolling out, you know?  It's a rare month where somebody doesn't see me somewhere on the Point and ask if I would take a bag or box of books that they're carting around in their car, hoping to run into someone affiliated with the library, I guess.  It's nice to live in a place where people do so much reading, no?

3.  Brewster's and FOPRL are cooperating to present three Midsummer Fun Nights with food, games for kids and adults, and movies this summer.  The dates are July 27, August 3, and August 17.  Round up your visiting relatives and friends and their kids and have a nice outdoor night on the Point.  All proceeds to the new library, of course.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Saturday Market Works for FOPRL and the New Library

We got ourselves yesterday to the first Saturday Market of the season with two  tables: one to solicit donations and one to sell volunteer produce.  Heidi Baxter (who is running a regular roadside stand of produce for the library called "Lilly the Llama's Garden" down at 713 Marine) also organized yesterday's produce sale.  She put out a call for donated produce, and Shirley Cannon, Carol Clark and Craig Jacks, Louise Cassidy, Carol Liaskas, Heidi herself and I responded with various salad greens, herbs, and strawberries(!) (from Craig and Carol).

If you want to help Heidi get this going, either by making produce donations as you have extra or by working at the stand on Saturday, get in touch with Heidi (  Yesterday, the produce brought in $75 (there are no fixed prices: people contribute as they choose).

In addition, we had Sophie Wolfman and Ed Park working a soft sandwich board, encouraging people to donate to the "Stand And Be Counted: $20 for the Library" campaign.  Yesterday involved what we got to be calling the "Seven Treasures Donation."  For $20, you got the pleasure of supporting the library; you got your name in the permanent donation book; you got your $20 matched from a Matching Fund; you got an "I Gave" button; you got a free raffle ticket on the quilt pictured below ("Night Watcher"); you got a free Prayer Flag and could decorate it or just sign your name to it; your prayer flag was immediately placed on the side wall of the Julius Firehall, where we hope great numbers of such flags will fly throughout the summer and many prayers will go skyward; and you received the ceaseless thanks of the Fundraising Committee.  As a bonus, as long as Margot Griffiths' dog Fredo was around, you could pet him.  And, finally, you eventually will get a new library.  That should be worth $20 every week, no?

Fifteen people took us up on this offer, resulting in an increase to our fundraising totals of $600, including the match.  And where are we now?  $210,500, according to my calculations.  And we're aiming for $300,000 by the end of the year.  Come see us next Saturday (10-1).  Same deal, although you might also get a chance to learn to make Lavender Wands.

Extra thanks, this week, to Heidi, Judith Wolfman, Sophie, Ed Park, Margot Griffith and Fredo.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Lily's Garden Shop

Here is Lilly the Llama tending her garden store where she sells flowers and vegetables and herbs in order to help raise money for the library.  Her trusty assistants are four pygmy angora goats.  You can find the stand and (inside the fence) Lilly and the goats at 713 Marine Drive.  This past weekend, Lilly raised $30!  At that rate, we might have to start a program to teach them all to read, at the very least.  Thanks to Heidi Baxter for this project.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Getting a Little Help

My 23-year-old granddaughter graduated with honors from UC Berkeley last month.  Pause for applause for her and for those who paid her tuition.  She is a person who--since she first realized she actually was alive--has always wanted to understand how life and the world works.  I was thinking of her the other day, remembering a conversation we had when she was about 4.  She was visiting us in Los Angeles and Ed had promised to do something particular with her when he got home from work at the end of the day.  Five o'clock came and went and right before six, she came to me with a worried look on her face.  She reminded me that Grandpa Ed had promised to do whatever it was when he got home from work and he got home from work at five, but now it was almost six.  What did I think about this?

"Oh," I replied, in the tiresome manner of adults everywhere, "He'll be here soon, I imagine.  Just be patient."

She looked at me with concern and, in the way of a child experienced in preschool, said, "I guess he hasn't got his work done.  Is he," and here her voice became absolutely pained, "maybe a little....slow?  Or, maybe nobody helped him with his work?"

Fortunately, he showed up within minutes and we never had to seriously face whether he might be "a little slow" or without friends to help him.

I was thinking about this because the "Stand and Be Counted" totals are indeed a little slow coming in, although we do have 170 as of today and after almost 6 weeks.  But still.  We are a community of 1300 people/permanent residents and at least 800 of those adults are surely around here in June.  And surely almost every one of them could afford to contribute $20 to a new library.  And then, while I was thinking this, Hosanna!, came into my hands an envelope with a check for $140.  Pat and Michael Birchall, who live here, had sent their $40 in the first week of May.  Now, they had rounded up 7 twenties from extended family members in Texas and Oklahoma who, Pat says, were happy to be helping build a library up here, because, "everybody needs a good library and sometimes they also need a little help to get there."  A couple of brothers-in-law are yet to be heard from, says Pat, but they'll come around eventually.

As will all of us, I imagine.  Because, why wouldn't we?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Way Above Board

Mary Sullivan from East Vancouver won
 Judy's red raffle quilt, and immediately put it to good use.
We sold 37 raffle tickets for Judy's red quilt, netting $925 for the library building fund, and presenting us with about 37 conflicts of interest.  We know most of the people who bought tickets, and wanted them all to win.  As it turned out,  the winner was someone we had not met before, Mary Sullivan from East Vancouver.  She came down to the Point for the recorder concert at Trinity Lutheran Church, and bought her raffle ticket there on the last day tickets were sold.  Good concert, good karma ...

So how did we avoid any bias (or even appearance of bias) in drawing the winning ticket?  Good question.   Answer: high technology and scrupulous monitoring.  We used the statistical program Stata to generate random numbers, and sorted the ticket numbers (1 through 40) into the corresponding random order. 

The program output is in the box on the right.  If you are masochistically curious about how close you came to winning, check the middle column for your ticket number; the nearer the top, the closer you were

To monitor the drawing, we brought in two people of the very highest integrity, who (fortunately) had not bought any raffle tickets themselves.  They are pictured on the left, just after the single computer run that created the list.  "No hanky panky here," they attest.

-- Ed Park, for the Friends of the Point Roberts Library

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Catching Up

I ran into Maureen Meikle in the grocery store today and she asked me how we are doing with the fundraising.  And I figure if Maureen doesn't already know, I must be remiss in getting some of the social networking done in a timely fashion.  So here I am.

First of all, we are now just short of $200,000 (specifically $4k short).  But that four thousand will be coming in from here and there within the month, I expect, as we have several requests out.

Second of all, we have about 160 people who have signed up for the "Stand and Be Counted: Give $20 to the New Library."  That's fewer than we had hoped, but we are pretty good hopers here at fundraising central and by extending it throughout the summer we have given our hopes new hope.  The 160 people have contributed (with the matching funds) $6,400, which is very, very nice to have.  All their names have been entered into the Donation Book of Record.

Third of all, the red quilt for which we have been selling $25 raffle quilts has been won. After selling 37 of 40 tickets, we decided it was time to end the suspense.  We raised $925 and the quilt was won by Mary Sullivan of East Vancouver.  She bought the winning ticket at the recorder concert at Trinity Lutheran Church a few weeks ago.  Rhiannon Allen and Arthur Reber (who were conflict free) presided over the identification of the winning ticket.  There was a second (unadvertised) prize: a couch pillow whose cover was pieced and quilted in the same style as the quilt (but blue instead of red) and it was won by Meg Olson, intrepid newspaper reporter and Mom from right here in Point Roberts.  Here's a picture of Meg and we'll have a picture of Mary after she gets down here to pick up the quilt, we think this weekend.  Our great thanks to everyone who bought tickets.  If it were in my power to have had a quilt for each of them, I surely would have arranged it.

Fourth of all, we are hoping to get the fabulous Tor Baxter-Judson Meraw (and various colleagues)'s book sculpture and its accompanying sign for tracking our fundraising progress in place toward the end of the month.  The "place" for the sign will be on the front of the Julius Firehall; the sculpture will be in front of the Julius Firehall.

Fifth of all, for those of you who are keeping up with the gas station saga: As you may recall, we have received donations for Can-Am ($10,000) and from the Texaco and Chevron stations ($1,000 each).  We met with the Shell station owner this past week and he has pledged at least $1,000 this summer.  And we received a phone call from the USA station management yesterday saying that they had just received our May 18 letter and would be getting back to us.  That's progress and we thank all the station owners for their contributions!

Sixth of all, we will be making a regular appearance at the Saturday Market starting June 22 where we will hope you can join us to decorate and sign with your own name a "Piece of the Library" prayer flag to fly on the side  of the Julius Firehall.  This will involve a $5 donation (many hours and yards of fabric go into making all these flags!), and we hope you and your children and their children will all join in with us to get those prayers and all those flag pieces creating the kind of environment that will enable us to get to our next goal by the end of the year.  That goal would be $300,000.  Help!  In every sense of the word!

Have a good weekend!  ...Judy Ross for The Friends of the P.R. Library

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Denis Horgan, Vice President and General Manager of Westshore Terminals, came down to Point Roberts on May 23, 2013, with a big check in his pocket for the new library building fund.  Here he presents the $10,000 check to members of the fund raising committee: Louise Cassidy, Judy Ross, Margot Griffeths, and Mark Robbins.

Horgan said that he sees Point Roberts and Delta as both part of the same community, and that he welcomes the chance to help build a new library for the Point.  In light of shared history, geography, and activities, the international boundary is, in his view, just a procedural hurdle, not a real divider.  He also acknowledged that coal dust from the Terminal pays no attention to the border.  The Terminal is just completing a $8.5 million dollar upgrade to their dust control system, which should be in operation sometime this month.  "Hope it works," he said.

Libraries in the Future

Sometimes, when I am talking to people about donating to the new library, an individual will say, "Well, we don't really use the library; we just download the books we need.  And, anyway, we won't really need libraries 20 or 30 years from now."  There are a lot of things one can say to counter such views, not least that everybody can't just download whatever they need.  They may not have the money, or the equipment, or the skill to take that route.  They may have 3 or 4 kids who are interested in having dozens of books each.  It is really not uncommon in our own library to see a family checking out 15 or 20 books for the kids.  And it is certainly not uncommon to see a librarian helping someone learn how to download a library e-book or helping them to use the computers in the library that are available for public use.

And given current trends, it looks like ours will continue to be a society in which many people will continue to need help in these ways.  Mark Robbins recently brought an article to my attention.  So if you are one of the people who think we aren't going to need libraries in the future, you might want to read it and consider another view.

--Judy Ross, for FOPRL