Lily Kompass and Spencer Ridge posed in their I [Heart] My Library t-shirts at the Rossland Public Library’s 77th anniversary event on Tuesday.

Rossland Public Library celebrates 77th anniversary

The Rossland Public Library celebrated its 77th anniversary on Tuesday.

The Rossland Public Library celebrated its 77th anniversary on Tuesday.

Rossland’s library was first established in October 1939 in a building on Washington St., across the alley from the old Bank of Montreal building. The library eventually moved to the courthouse basement and finally moved to its present location in 1984. The library’s history has been recorded in History of the Rossland Public Library, a text prepared by a group of volunteers on the occasion of the library’s 50th year celebration in 1989.

“The opening ceremonies were held in front of the new library on the evening of June 27, 1984,” Margaret Smith, assistant librarian, read from the text.

Over 32 years after the move, the 77-year-old institution celebrated its anniversary with cupcakes, cocoa and architectural drawings for what the building will look like once the Rossland Library Renewal project has been complete.

Among other things, the renewal project will move the office to the north side of the library, leaving the south-facing windows on the west side accessible to library users. The project will also expand the children’s section and will create a second meeting room in the northeast corner of the library.

At its annual general meeting in April, the library board hoped that the project would be complete in time for the anniversary celebration, but it wasn’t to be. Yolanda Ridge, library board member at large, says the library still has a lot of fundraising to do before they can take the project to tender.

“We’re about, I’m going to say, 50 per cent there, in terms of funding, and right now we really need another major grant or something to get the funding up to the levels we need to go out to tender,” said Ridge. At this point she says, the board doesn’t have a target date anymore. “Because we don’t want to go out to tender until we have at least 70 per cent of the funds.”

One young Rossland library patron has been doing her best to contribute to fundraising efforts. Lily Kompass attended the anniversary event with her screen printing equipment printing t-shirts, onesies and tote bags with “I [Heart] My Library” in exchange for $5 donations and selling pre-printed tees and onesies for $10.

Kompass’ goal is to raise $500 toward the renewal project, and so far she’s raised $245, not including what she raised as the anniversary event.

Anyone who would still like to get something screen printed can drop off items at the library along with their name, phone number and donation. Those who’d like to support the renewal project can also donate on the library’s website at rossland.bc.libraries.coop or inquire at the library about sponsorship opportunities.