Harvest to contribute $396,184 toward capital campaign for library renovations
Martinsville, Va. — The Bassett Library Steering Committee and the Blue Ridge Regional Library system today launched a $2.25 million capital campaign supporting an extensive renovation and expansion of the Bassett Library. The Harvest Foundation will invest $396,184 toward the renovation project.
“Libraries are at the heart and in the fabric of the communities they serve — they provide more than just books,” said DeWitt House, senior program officer at The Harvest Foundation. “Libraries are safe, public spaces that welcome everyone and offer resources for people of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life. Most community members have a story or memory that involves our local library and the impact it had on their lives. Supporting our local libraries is a way to ensure our continued growth in Martinsville-Henry County.”
The capital campaign “Build a Better Library Book by Book,” will raise funds for the renovation, providing much-needed space for added services and storage to meet the needs of the community. Renovations include developing a dedicated area for computers, a larger meeting room with storage, and updated restrooms. Additionally, the meeting room will serve as a free community meeting space during and after library hours.
Two planned entrances will alleviate challenges for ingress and egress. Additional handicapped parking and a drive-thru window with a book drop will further provide safe travel in and around the building.
“The Bassett Library prides itself on the number of quality programs offered to preschoolers, school-aged children, and teens in our community,” said Karen Barley, Bassett Branch Manager. “The expansion and redesigned floor plan will allow for larger children and teen areas with extra storage for each space. Also, adding designated quiet rooms for tutoring and silent study will allow our library to offer additional services that are much-needed in our community.”
Barley said the renovations will support dedicated staff at the library with a new and more centralized library branch manager’s office, employee break room, working space, and added storage for library equipment central to the circulation desk.
Rick Ward, director of the Blue Ridge Regional Library system, said libraries are part of a community’s identity, offering numerous programs open to all patrons, regardless of social status or income.
“We strive to offer new and exciting programs on a regular basis, attracting more patrons and increasing the demand for meeting rooms and our children’s areas,” Ward said. “The Bassett Branch has done an excellent job in this regard and has gotten so successful that the spaces we have are not adequate for the numbers we are seeing. Therefore, we are very excited to have this opportunity to start our expansion campaign with the generous help of The Harvest Foundation, and we look forward to making this dream come true for the patrons in the Bassett area and beyond.”
Bassett residents Lewis and Betty Turner will lead fundraising efforts for the Bassett Library expansion.
“Having been a patron of the Bassett Library from its beginning, the realization of the need for its renovation and expansion is close to me,” said Betty Turner, Bassett Library Steering Committee co-chair. “The library is vital to the community being served in numerous ways. We appreciate very much that The Harvest Foundation recognizes the value of this service to the community.”
Lewis Turner, the other co-chair of the steering committee, added, “The investment by The Harvest Foundation gives our capital campaign a big jump start. The pressure is now on the entire committee and the Blue Ridge Regional Library Board of Trustees to step up and bring this much-needed project to completion.”
The Blue Ridge Regional Library Foundation accepts donations at any branch location, through its website at brrlfoundation.org, or via mail at Bassett Expansion Fund, Bassett Branch Library, 3969 Fairystone Park Highway, Bassett, VA 24055.
About The Harvest Foundation:
The Harvest Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 2002 by the sale of Memorial Hospital. In partnership with the diverse people and organizations that call MHC home, we serve as a long-term catalyst, advocate, and investor to make our community a welcoming place where all can thrive. Our vision is a community where everyone shares in the promise of an MHC that is healthy, prosperous, and vibrant. To date, the foundation has invested more than $158 million in grant dollars back into the community and has an annual grants budget of roughly $10-12 million. To find out more about Harvest, visit theharvestfoundation.org.
About Blue Ridge Regional Library:
The mission of the Blue Ridge Regional Library is to provide free, friendly service and access to timely materials that educate, enrich and entertain the entire community. The library system includes five physical locations in Martinsville, Bassett, Collinsville, Ridgeway, and Patrick County, with a bookmobile that regularly services Patrick County and local schools. Support the libraries by donating on our website, or joining Friends of the Library. Visit us online at www.brrl.lib.va.us or on Facebook at Blue Ridge Regional Library.