Charlotte LibraryBy Nan Mason, President of the Friends of the Charlotte Library board

The Friends of the Charlotte Library would like to thank all who donated to the recent capital campaign. The fantastic and uplifting update is that we have reached our goal of raising $600,000 to match the bond passed by a town-wide vote. Very fortunately, the new addition, which nearly doubles the size of the library, was 99% completed when the pandemic struck. We are looking forward to the full reopening of the library so all in town can enjoy and marvel at the new spaces that are truly spectacular.

Meanwhile, the site work around the expanded building is well underway. We wish to acknowledge, and to thank, Linda Hamilton, Karen Tuininga and Jim Donovan for their ongoing contributions to the Library Landscape design project, for which they generously offered a free landscape design course, eliciting ideas from nearly a dozen participants.

We all owe a great deal of gratitude and appreciation to former Selectboard member Fritz Tegatz who oversaw (and continues to oversee) every aspect of this undertaking, both on the inside and the outside. Fritz, as clerk of the works, made certain that ReArch and their subcontractors did everything to the exact specifications laid out in the design and in the contract. Fortunately, the ReArch crew members were up to the task—they were diligent, accommodating and a pleasure to work with. Both the addition and the renovation of the original building reflect their precision and their attention to detail.

At every step, the Library staff rose to the challenge of working in a construction zone and now of dealing with the pandemic. In addition to being patient and creative they have applied for and received several grants. They were awarded a total of $14,750, specifically for the addition, as well as another $26,510 for programs and equipment for an impressive total of $41,260! Their dedication and skills are exemplary.

We also wish to thank Meaghan McLaughlin, a vice president at the National Bank of Middlebury, who facilitated a loan on a schedule that matched the incoming pledges. We are incredibly grateful to all who sent in their pledges early, thereby decreasing our interest payments.

Given the current difficult times, The Friends of the Charlotte Library will forego our annual town-wide membership mailing that raises funds to augment the library’s town budget. We will hope to resume the annual July book sale and related activities when the world returns to some semblance of “normal”—whatever that may be! In lieu of the mailing, we will be underwriting what we are calling “The Get Cozy Raffle” to engender some much-needed excitement and joy for the holiday season. Stay tuned!!

For the moment, we are incredibly grateful to Charlotters and other friends for their continuing support of the Library, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to share what we were able to collectively achieve.

Nan Mason is president of the Friends of the Charlotte Library board. Board members include Missy Adams, Carol Clay, Shanley Hinge, Beth Merritt, Dana Murphy and Maria Wicker.