Mindemoya library opens new expansion

Library chair Sandra Strong, chief librarian Claire Cline and Central Manitoulin Mayor Gerry Strong listen to Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Mike Mantha read his favourite children’s book ‘Charlotte’s Web’ from the new and improved children’s corner in the library.

MINDEMOYA—Residents of Central Manitoulin have a beautiful new expanded library at their disposal, thanks to the hard work and determination of an army of volunteers and the steadfastness and vision of chief librarian Claire Cline.

An official ribbon cutting took place in the entranceway of the 1,000 square foot addition last Thursday afternoon to mark the occasion. The library is now double its original size.

Mayor Gerry Strong thanked everyone for coming, acknowledging Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha for his presence at the Mindemoya Library.

“On behalf of the council I would like to thank chief librarian Claire Cline,” the mayor said. “It was her determination that saw this to fruition and her hard work in convincing the (library) board and council to see it done,” he added, noting the “many, many hours” Ms. Cline put in to getting the library organized for the construction phase of the project.

Mayor Strong thanked the library board for its fundraising efforts and “persistence” and acknowledged clerk-treasurer Ruth Frawley, economic development officer Amanda Gunner and Silvio Berti, municipal coordinator.

The mayor also expressed gratitude to contractor Jack Ashley, design consultant Dan Delay and architect Art Peach.

“And most importantly, I’d like to thank the volunteers, for without them this would never have happened,” he said. “Every book had to be relocated and then put back, and that’s a big job. We have to thank them.”

MPP Michael Mantha said he is always pleased to come to Manitoulin. “It’s always an easy drive for me, coming to the Island,” he said. “It doesn’t seem like work when I come to the Island and this certainly isn’t work.”

“I have to commend Trillium—a good organization that puts a lot of time and heart into projects that will benefit the community,” he added. The Ontario Trillium Foundation provided a $35,000 grant that allowed for the 1,000 square foot expansion of the facility as well as the purchase of accessible shelving.

Mr. Mantha called the library “a really powerful tool” for the Central Manitoulin community, one he’s used on more than one occasion during his Mindemoya constituency clinics.

Library board chair Sandra Strong also spoke, showing her appreciation for board members past and present, library volunteers and the Friends of the Library fundraising group.

“Claire Cline is a CEO who can plan for the future and ensure that this library is among the best on Manitoulin,” she said. Ms. Strong spoke of Ms. Cline’s vision for the expansion project, earmarking funds well in advance.

Ms. Strong also noted Linda and Jim Noble, for without Ms. Noble’s work, she said, the Trillium grant would not have happened. She also thanked the Trillium Foundation for seeing the benefit of the expansion and making it a reality.

The spacious new addition has expanded shelving for non-fiction and reference titles, a boardroom for all community organizations to use, complete with a television and kitchenette, four laptop computers and even a jigsaw puzzle station.

The addition has freed up room for a dedicated children’s corner that overlooks the enclosed courtyard, which Mr. Mantha was especially excited to see, gathering Ms. Cline, Mayor Strong and Ms. Strong for ‘story time’ and an excerpt from his favourite book, ‘Charlotte’s Web.’

Ms. Cline noted the dedicated people who helped from the beginning to the end of the project. The library was closed from December 14 and reopened January 7 so her few faithful volunteers worked through the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

“There is volunteering and then there is volunteering, and working over 80 hours in three weeks is more than just volunteering,” said Ms. Cline. “When I told them how much I appreciated them, I was told they had to keep coming back because they were not going to leave me alone to do it. That is dedication.”

Those that worked tirelessly with Ms. Cline included her husband, Wes Cline, Marcy Ransom, Arlene Findlay, Sue Van Horn and Sally Miller. “I couldn’t have done it without them and to think they gave up their holiday time to help with the library; that is dedication and I thank them so very much. Silvio Berti, projects manager from next door at the municipality, was very good. He came over and involved me every step of the way during the building of the addition.”

“And I also need to thank Mayor Gerry Strong and Central Manitoulin council for their support as well as for their financial assistance to make this dream come true,” continued Ms. Cline.

“Jack Ashley contracting built the addition and he was great and did a lovely job. He can build a house for me any day,” stated Ms. Cline.

She also acknowledged the support of the Trillium Foundation as well as LAMBAC, which contributed $3,000 towards the cost of blueprints. “And also a very special thanks to the Friends of the Library who are still raising money by selling cookbooks to purchase furnishings for the new addition. They also had raised money by selling raffle tickets and books this summer.”

“And all the people that put money in the donation jars or purchased items that we were selling to raise money. A very big thank you to them also,” said Ms. Cline. “And last but certainly not least, we have to acknowledge the support of the present library board as well as the past boards who tried to move this project/addition forward.”

Established in 1957, the Central Manitoulin Library Board operates the Mindemoya and Providence Bay Libraries. The newly expanded Mindemoya Library operates 24 hours a week year round thanks to efficient, hardworking and welcoming staff and volunteers. The library has books, ebooks, DVDs, VHS movies, talking books and playaways and offers services such as inter-library loans, the public use of eight computers with printers, photocopying, laminating and faxing.

Information technology (IT) assistance is available to the public every Wednesday from 10 am to 12 noon.