On Saturday, the community celebrated the opening of a new
The new facility, with brightly colored walls, has been open since February. It serves the
The library carries about 12,000 items, including books, CDs and DVDs, and is a popular meeting place for local residents, who raised money for the new building by holding bake sales and other fundraisers.
The library a good example of a successful grass-roots community effort. The idea originated in the kitchen of one of the eight original founders in 1990.
"We just felt that there was a need for it," said
The first library in the community was immediately successful. It spawned early childhood education programs and served as a site for community events. But it quickly outgrew its rented space, and board members began looking for a permanent home.
Then a 1.5-acre property that included the old general store and a small house was up for sale. A donor offered
The library group rented the general store building to the Dixon Co-op Market and set up the library in the house. People began congregating there, especially after a local bar closed down.
It was quickly apparent, however, that the space couldn't handle the volume of visitors who were coming to the library, and the board soon began planning and raising money for a new purpose-built facility.
So again, the community held bake sales and other benefits. Shelves and books were donated as the library's popularity grew.
"We do a lot without a lot [of resources]," Neymark explained.
Three part-time staffers now run the library, and it depends heavily on the 40 volunteers who come throughout the week, said
It offers an after-school program and free Internet service, and sponsors a seasonal farmers market as well as annual community fiestas.
The old library is being remodeled to become a community center, radio station and early childhood education center. The low-power FM station will air about 10 locally produced shows, Fonseca said.
"This [new building] matches the spirit and energy of this community," Palley said.
The board hopes to build a playground next to the library and set up a permanent stage behind the building for live performances, Fonseca said.
"Without a doubt, it's a dream come true," said
Brenden, who is also a member of the library's board, said the group's hard work was worth it. When she drives by the new building, she said, she still can't believe it "sits there so beautifully."
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