I am excited to share with the community that East Lansing Public Library (ELPL) received an incredibly generous donation from an anonymous donor on April 10, 2015. The donation is in the amount of $1,500,000.
This is truly wonderful for ELPL and the entire community. It provides the opportunity to inspire and innovate a re-imagined East Lansing Public Library.
What does this mean for ELPL?
The donation will allow for a partial renovation of the library. We will be able to move some things around and to re-purpose some spaces. The teen area will be larger; the maker studio will be larger; the children's area will be engaging; a cyber cafe with vending machines will be added; and the floor plan will be opened up. We will also incorporate new furniture and shelving in parts of the library.
While $1.5 million is huge and by far the largest donation the library, and probably the city, has ever gotten, unfortunately, it does not get us a full renovation of the library nor does it get us a much needed expansion. ELPL does need to be expanded because we are approximately 20,000 square feet too small for the size of population we serve. In addition, it will not allow for any parking lot repairs or additions.
This is why we are asking for the community to match the gift or to even exceed the donation. Our goal is to raise an additional $1.5 to $2 million by May 2016. However to do an expansion and renovation like we need, it will cost $11,000,000. The Donate, Renovate, Innovate...A Renewed East Lansing Public Library Capital Campaign kicked off on April 17.
It is important to note, the gift ELPL received is restricted. It can only be used for renovations to the current library building. It cannot be used for operations. Our operations budget continues to be tight as we juggle the cost of staff, materials and technology needs.
If things progress well, the renovations will start in September/October 2015 and will take approximately nine months to complete. This means our Meeting Room, the North Foyer Art Gallery, the Storytime Room and other areas will not be available to use. Things will be displaced and dust will fly, however, the end result will be a re-imagined East Lansing Public Library where the possibilities will be unlimited.
Coming very soon, we will display a "book-o-meter" to show the progress of our Donate, Renovate, Innovate…A Renewed East Lansing Public Library Capital Campaign and architect renderings of the renovation plans.
This is a great time for the community. With your help we can make the East Lansing Public Library the stellar library the community deserves.