Rendition of new library

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

Sunday, January 25, 2015

End of 2014/Beginning of 2015 Status Report

We end the year with $405,000, an increase during the 4th quarter almost entirely due to a matching fund which grew to cover about $15,000 contributed during the last two months.  In addition, there were sales from the Library’s Christmas Craft Faire table (all proceeds, about $1,500 from donated goods, went to the New Library Project), as well as several individual donations in November.

This year, we also received a total 0f $32,000 in grants from two foundations (Norcliffe and Archibald).  The Garneau-Nicon Foundation and the Murdoch Foundation (both Washington State Foundations) did not think that our project fit within their guidelines and were thus unable to provide any support.  We have one other grant proposal still out for consideration by the McEachern Foundation.  Their staff has recently requested additional information about the extent of childrens’ services provided by our library, which is a promising sign.  Finally, and unfortunately, we were unable to find any state funds available this past year for library funding.

Other significant achievements during the year:
--The Memo of Understanding between the Friends of the P.R. Library, the Park and Recreation District, and Whatcom County Library Services was revised and now includes a commitment by the P&R District to put a levy on the ballot if it is needed for final funding at such time as the FOPRL concludes there is no further possibility of its closing the final gap.
--The P&R District named David King as architect for the new building and he began working with a design committee composed of local residents, and with Whatcom County Library Services staff to determine the final shape of building plans.
--The Bellingham Herald recognized our project in“Whatcom Cares” by naming our fundraisers as one of ten people/groups who had provided exceptional service to the communities of Whatcom County.  


We continue to look for possible foundation grants, although this is becoming increasingly unlikely because of the severe cutbacks on capital project funding in the foundation world.  We spoke with several managers in the state Commerce Dept. about the possibility of applying for state capital grants and were told that nothing there was available.  They reported that the only possibility they could see was a “directed request” from our state legislators.  We are hoping that State Senator Doug Ericksen will be willing to make a directed grant request for state funds for us.  We have contacted his office, asking for a meeting about his, but have not, as of January 24, heard back from him.  And we are planning to conduct a final letter-request campaign to local residents and businesses who have not yet contributed to this project.  Every dollar counts as we move into this final phase.  We still have a $40,000 matching fund for any business, individual, or family who contributes at least $10,000.

We thank everyone who has contributed time, energy, donated goods, and money, support of every kind, to this project.  For a tiny community like Point Roberts to have a new library will make an important change in how we think of ourselves: we are a community that can make good things happen.  And we will have a lovely bright new library building to remind us of that fact for a long time to come.