Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Reason Why... One of them anyway.

The Depot...why is the Historic Monroe Train Depot part of our South Benton Library Project? Why would we use it, when it looks like it is falling apart? There it sits, on the corner of HWY 99W and Ash St. in Monroe. It looks pretty lonely out there and in fact it looks a tad bit more decrepit than it did 4 years ago when we moved it to it's new home.

What a day that was! Do you remember? It was an early March morning, a little overcast and dark. But something remarkable was happening in Monroe! The Depot was being moved and in the process, it was given a reprieve from destruction. It was really a leap of faith for our group, the South Benton Library Project, to have the Depot moved. We didn't yet own the property where it was being moved, we didn't yet have any funds to pay for the move. We didn't even have a plan of how the Depot would be incorporated into the new library design. But we had a vision of what we didn't want to happen; the destruction of a landmark. The building was historic and a part of our South Benton history. The saving of it just fell into our laps. And yet, somehow it fit right into our plans.

I keep thinking about the Monroe train's arrival in town each day so many years ago. About the people meeting their families at the depot, about coming home, and about leaving for other places. Coming to the train depot back then was a destination and a departure place. By saving the Historic Monroe Train Depot and using it for our Community Library we will keep it's original use somewhat intact. This is what I mean: people coming to the library today come for many reasons and some are the same original reasons that they came to the Depot many years ago. They come today to meet people-haven't you "met" the characters in your favorite books at the library? Also, for many it is a home place-most of our town's kids have been raised coming to the library and are perfectly at home here. Most of these kids will grow up, have children of their own and bring them to the Monroe Library. And by checking out many of our books and material people can, in essence, depart for other places-even if it is only in their mind.

The Historic Monroe Train Depot will be incorporated into the new Monroe Community Library and once again it will take it's place in a town where people meet, gather and grow. What a welcoming place to be and a wonderful reason why.

Monday, December 13, 2010

An Impressive Quote from one of our Donors

From Megan Schumaker, Program Officer for Community Grants & Funds at the Oregon Community Foundation:

“The Oregon Community Foundation is impressed by the amount of support the South Benton Community Enhancement Association has garnered from local individuals and businesses. It is clear that construction of a new library is a high priority in the community, with more than two-thirds of Monroe-area households having contributed. John Gray, a prominent Oregon philanthropist and graduate of Monroe High School, has made a generous pledge to help complete the campaign and OCF is pleased to be part of this strong community effort.”

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Guest Post from Nancy, SBLP's delightful Publicity Chairman

What a Thanksgiving! Two foundations and generous neighbors provide funding that keeps us chugging along toward realizing construction of the new library and community center we have been working for.

The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) generously awarded our efforts to build a new library and community center with $25,000 for the second consecutive year in support of our capital campaign to build a new library for the residents of South Benton County. Funds granted came from two specific philanthropic funds: the Kiilsgaard-Greene Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation ($550) and the Jerome S. and Barbara Bischoff Library Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation ($24,450). The foundation's generosity has helped us bring our total for funds raised to $868,689.

The mission of The Oregon Community Foundation is to improve life in Oregon and promote effective philanthropy. OCF works with individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create charitable funds to support the community causes they care about. Through these funds OCF awards more than $60 million annually in grants and scholarships.

The Oregon Community Foundation makes grants through an application process that involves local citizens in the review and evaluation of requests for funds. Application materials are available through the foundation’s Portland office. Individuals or businesses interested in establishing fund may contact the Eugene office at 541.431.7099. Please visit OCF’s website for additional information at

The South Benton Library Project also received $50,000 from the Ann and Bill Swindells Charitable Trust, providing considerable financial assistance toward construction and preconstruction expenses for the area’s new public library and community center. It is the intention of the Ann and Bill Swindells Charitable Trust to contribute to organizations whose principal mission is to improve the quality of life of the citizens of Oregon and to assist and sustain the educational, cultural and scientific endeavors of the state.

In addition to grant funding, private and business donations to construction of the new library have exceeded $50,000. We are very grateful to the generous citizens and business leaders of our community and their commitment to the success of the capital campaign for construction of a much needed new public library in South Benton County.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Best Moments of My Week @ the Library-Nov. 15

-a patron who told me that she was cancer free!
-the confidence to not panic this past week during Storytime when the building's fire alarm went off- the ladies next door burnt their toast in the toaster oven! All the kids eyes sure got big!
-I followed a Christmas tree bailer into town on my way to the's almost Christmas!
-one of the kids asked me after school, "Lori, did you forget to brush your hair today?"
-the kids at the library named the spider up in the corner, "Bob".
-the very next day, "Bob" went missing. I know he'll show up...when I least expect it!

Hope you had many wonderful "moments" in your week too!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Best Moments of My Week @ the library-- November 3rd

-two boys running into the library saying "Yeah! No one's on the kid's computer, we can have our turns!" (poor kids, they didn't realize there was only 3 minutes left before the library closed)

-teaching a patron how to print out a 52 page document double-sided and seeing the joy on his face to learn something new

-birthday flowers from Gloria!

-telling a patron "Yes, the new rotation of Large Print books will be here on Saturday!"

-having a volunteer tell me that there was compost under the chairs in the teen area! (how was I supposed to know that someone left a banana peel there during the summer?)

-coming in every day and seeing the large spider still up in that unreachable corner. Hey, if it's still up there it won't come running out at me when I move a box of books!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Patiently Waiting...

Yes, we are still waiting to break ground on the new library! After working on it for 3 years now, it can seem a little slow moving; even to me. Not a day goes by without someone asking at the library just how the new building project is coming along. So I thought that I would update the blog (wondering if anyone really reads this!) just in case we have anyone who is peeking in to see where we are at.

This past Monday we had our monthly South Benton Library Project board meeting. Each month, our faithful group gathers to report on the progress they've made for the past few weeks. There are our fund raising gurus, our event queen, our construction wonderguy, our city council liaison and more who each bring his or her dedication to the table. All in all we have about 12 very loyal and hard-working volunteers behind the scenes. They are making it happen. Getting the job done.

You might not see the progress they are making... but it's happening, I assure you. Grants have been written and submitted, meetings with Benton County Commissioners have happened, City Council members' hearts have been won over to the project and construction drawings have been drawn. There has been tons of action going on behind the scenes.

So why, people ask me, isn't the train on the depot sign moving? Good question! It's because we have been sitting on our 44% dollar figure for a long time now. But we have been making the most of that 44%! At this past meeting I heard a wonderful phrase used by our construction wonderguy. He said we are "bid ready". Meaning all we need is the rest of the money and we can start with the bidding process and then break ground and build. So what's the hold up? We are waiting to hear back from grants that have been written and submitted. The total amount on all these grants, if awarded to us, would bring us to 100% of the funds we need to break ground and build the new library.

That's why I'm waiting... patiently.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wine in Paradise!

On Saturday, April 3rd, South Benton Library Project will host a benefit to raise money for the new library in South Benton County. This event is being billed as a "Winemaker's Dinner Art & Wine Auction. The evening will be filled with fantastic wine, food and art and is being sponsored by Broadley Vineyards and Paradise Springs.

6 PM No-Host Bar with viewing of Art & Wine Auction items
7 PM Dinner by Marche' of Eugene - followed by Auction

At Paradise Springs Event Center
25674 Cherry Creek Rd.
Monroe, OR 97456

Tickets are $75 and available at the following locations:

Monroe Community Library: In person or by telephone
668 Commercial St., Monroe 541-847-5174

Corvallis-Benton County Public Library: no telephone reservations
645 NW Monroe Ave., Corvallis

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Another Author Visit this Saturday, Feb. 13

This Saturday, Feb. 13th, at the Monroe Fire Hall the South Benton Library Project will welcome author Diane L. Goeres-Gardner to speak. Award winning Ms. Goeres-Gardner has written two Oregon history books; "Necktie Parties: The History of Legal Executions in Oregon, 1851-1905" and "Murder, Morality and Madness: Women Criminals in Early Oregon". We will be entertained and informed with her research using photographs and slides focusing on how women were treated by the legal system in Oregon during the 1800's. Ms. Goeres-Gardner has another book, "Roseburg" due to be released in March 2010 also. Here are the details:

Where: Monroe Fire Hall
680 Commercial St.
Monroe, OR
When: Saturday, February 13, 1:00-3:00
Cost: Free!
Contact info: Lori Pelkey 541-847-5174