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The Shepherdstown Public Library within $110,000 of fundraising goal

By Staff | Aug 3, 2018

Jean Neely, of Shepherdstown, finishes painting another spine on the Shepherdstown Public Library's fundraising sign, which is now four book spines away from being finished. Photo by Tabitha Johnston.

SHEPHERDSTOWN — During the “Paint a Spine” event in front of the Shepherdstown Public Library on July 25, Jean Neely — a member of the library’s building project fundraising committee — painted in one book spine, signifying the library has raised another $30,000 for its new building.

Located on four acres of land outside of the Corporation of Shepherdstown, the new library building project is now within $110,000 of its $2.95 million goal, according to SPL Director Hali Taylor.

“Everything we’ve done here is for the construction of the new library,” Taylor said. “We’re making upward progress — that’s the most important thing.

“In 1994, we started realizing we needed more space for the library. We explored a few options in the following years, but they didn’t work,” Taylor said, mentioning the town sold the land to the library for $15, after realizing a new building was the library’s only solution, to allow it to expand with Jefferson County’s growing population.

According to Taylor, the four acres had been used as a dump, but with donations and funding from one of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfield Grants, the land was soon cleaned up.

Before fundraising publicly for the building, the West Virginia Library Commission appointed the committee Neely was honorary co-chair of, to raise the majority of the building project’s needed funds during a silent phase. The committee raised about $2.35 million before the second, public fundraising phase opened in April 2017.

“They were real uniters for the project. It was extremely important, to raise this money in that amount of time,” said SPL Director of Library Development Lee Ann Warner. Warner said many of the major donors to the library — from both the first and second phases — will be honored on a donor wall, or with a selected part of the library named after them.

A brick raffle was also held during the “Paint a Spine” event, raffling off one of the fundraising project’s $500 bricks to be engraved and placed in the new building’s entryway, purchased for the raffle by a community member. Library patron Veronica Noel, of Shepherdstown, selected the winning ticket, which was bought by Steve Kershner, of Shepherdstown.

“We are very pleased and lucky to have won the brick raffle. We’re supporters of and love the Shepherdstown library,” Kershner said of him and his family, when he was called after the event with the news.

Four more book spines are left to be painted in on the fundraising sign, built in 2017 by Bill Gentry, of Shepherdstown, with its book pile design painted in 2017 by Rachael Cody, of Shepherdstown.

To donate, visit www.lib.shepherdstown.wv.us/donations.html. For large donations, contact Taylor at spldirector@martin.lib.wv.us.

The library’s king-size hand-stitched quilt raffle, costing $10 per ticket, will continue until Aug. 21 or 22, and its golf scramble fundraiser will be held on Sept. 21. For more information, visit www.lib.shepherdstown.wv.us. or call 304-876-2783.