The New Marienville Area Library - Capital Campaign
The Marienville Area Library is raising money for a new building. Since the Library needs the community's help and support, the community should know all of the facts. This information is being updated as of July, 2017.
Q: What is the George and Verda Kiehl Challenge?
A: A challenge grant has been made in memory of George and Verda Kiehl to raise funds needed for the new library building. The grant offers to match dollar-for-dollar all donations made to the Building Fund by December 31, 2017 up to $62,500. If the Library can raise this additional $125,000, it will be in excellent position to seek the final funding needed from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Q: If we have a library, why build another?
A: The Library is warm and welcoming and overstuffed and under-technologied. The current building is a 1960's era pole garage converted to its current purpose in 1982. It is hard to heat and cool. Extension cords run across the floor to connect technology, the lighting is bad, and there is not enough room for current materials, computers, activities and people. In addition the building is not structurally sound according to a 2015 engineering analysis. As to “why a library”, please see Jacklyn McLaughlin—our wonderful librarian’s—discussion of the importance of a library to our rural community.
Q: Wasn’t the plan to start building this summer (2017)?
A: That was the plan. The new building according to a professional estimator, will have a cash cost of $500,000. The plan was for the community to raise 25% of that amount. The remainder was being sought in grants/loans from the USDA Rural Development Agency and from the Commonwealth’s Keystone Library Grant fund. The community did its share. However the Library, through no fault of its own, was not able to bring together the Federal and State grants. For a full explanation see the article that appeared in The Forest Press and which is copied below.
Q: Where do we stand right now?
A: As of July 2017, the balance in the Building Funds stands at $99,650. The Library and Friends of the Library have invested over $10,000 in expenses directly related to the new building such as getting the Storm Water Management Building permit. In addition a grant has been received which offsets $15,200 of the estimated building cost. Therefore of the $500,000 estimated cost of the new building the community has contributed $124,850.
Q: Is that enough?
A: If we cannot look for partial funding from USDA, it is not enough. The Keystone Library Grant will fund only 50% of a library project. We need to raise another $125,000. We have done it once thanks to the generosity of our community. Please see the list of donors who are supporting this valuable community asset. We have done well. We will do more. The Library is a vital cultural asset to our community.
Q: How soon do we need to raise this?
A: We plan to apply for the Keystone Library Grant in October, 2018. Volunteers are working to raise the funding through the community and through additional grants such as the Rain Garden Grant received from the Northwest Commission’s Greenways Grants.
Q: If I do contribute, how do I know my money will be used for the purpose intended?
A: The Library Board, the Library staff, and the Friends of the Marienville Area Library are very conscious of the duty to properly account for and maintain the books and all the accounting records of this enterprise. Controls have been put in place to insure that all donations are used only for the new library building. Friends of the Marienville Area Library, which manages the building account, is a 501(c)(3) charitable entity. As such, its accounting records can be inspected by the public. A record of all donations is being maintained. If donated funds are not used on the Library building, they will be available for return.
Q: How can I help?
A: A donation may be made
1. In person at the Library—we love to see you
2. By mailing the attached contribution form
3. Or by using the crowd funding source soon to be selected
In addition this community effort can use volunteers. Grant writers, statisticians, electricians, gardeners are just a sampling of the volunteers this building project needs.
If you have questions, please contact the Library at (814) 927-8552.
The Forest Press: May 10, 2017
Marienville Area Library Building Plans Delayed
The Marienville Area Library’s plan to begin construction on a new library building this summer has been delayed. The new building is designed to be a highly functional rural library with all the technology infra-structure so needed by the community. And the need is great. The current building does not meet programmatic needs. In addition the building is not structurally sound.
However the funding did not come together to allow building to start in 2017. The plan consisted of three pieces in raising the projected $550,000 needed for the building:
- One-fourth of the funds would be raised from the local community
- One-fourth of the funds would be a combination grant and loan from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development
- The final funding was to be provided by a Keystone Library Grant. The Keystone Library Grant is a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania source of funding for libraries.
Both the USDA and the Office of Commonwealth Libraries spoke well of the content and purpose of Marienville’s grant applications. However both organizations required that all other funding sources be present before their final commitment of funds. While the grant documents for both the Commonwealth and Federal grants allow for additional sources of grant funding, both governmental agencies require that its grant be made only after all other funding is raised. This mutual insistence on being the final funding source plus a delay in availability of Federal funds due to Federal budget issues destroyed the ability of the grants to work together. Each granting body insisted that it be the last entity to commit funding.
Marienville Area Library is still planning to build a new library. The date for completion has been pushed back. The Library volunteers will work to find new funding sources. The Keystone Library Grant which could fund up to 50% of the project becomes available again in 2018. Commonwealth library personnel have encouraged the Marienville Area Library to resubmit its grant request citing both the need and the community support for the project.