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    Posted April 13, 2014 by
    Crozet, Virginia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your favorite libraries

    Our Village Library

    The citizens of Western Albemarle County and the village of Crozet in Virginia had been working on securing a new library since 1998 and in September 2013 their dream was finally realized.
    The story behind the library and the actions of the citizens demonstrate how community teamwork make dreams real.
    The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors announced they would build the new library but could only afford to build the building itself and if the village could raise the funds for everything else ( books, bookcases, computers, chairs, tables, etc) they would begin construction. The village of Crozet accepted the challenge of raising $1.6 million to furnish the interior with everything needed for a fully operational library. By the way the village is an unincorporated portion of the county so it was volunteer teams working to plan and raise the funds, not a government operation. The fundraising started in February of 2012 and immediately the fundraising team received support, ideas and donations. The village and surrounding county raised enough funds so that as bills for furnishings came due all were paid on time. By the time of the grand opening in September, 2013 the library was completely furnished and the book collection had grown from 33,000 to over 51,000. While the book collection is still growing (final goal of 75,800) all other goals have been met.

    What makes the Western Albemarle/Crozet Library special?
    It was planned by citizens who turned out for many meetings with county and library staff,
    It was funded by citizens who gave more than 850 individual donations.

    It's a success. Since the library opened visits are up 93%, circulation is up 74% and over 1350 new library cards have been issued.

    It's Loved. The community loves their new library because it s their library. They see the Early Literacy Room filled with grand parents and parents reading to pre- K kids, the computers for children only inside the children's area, events almost everyday in the Teen section, the study room built for groups, the large print section that has doubled in size, a meditative reading area looking out on the Blue Ridge Mountains,the circulation desk with an outline of the mountains seen from the library windows built by a local woodworker using local wood, a 75 person community meeting room that is continually booked and in the next few months the library staff will finally be able to offer summer reading programs to over 600 kids.
    The families of the area are also very proud of the community center that the library has become and demonstrate that by bringing family visitors and guests to the library for tours.

    If nothing else demonstrates the feeling the citizens have for their library the book brigade does. When the old library closed ( a retired train station office) over 300 citizens turned out on a Tuesday morning for a book brigade to move the last of the books from the old library to the new library See WWW.earlessrabbit.com/carousel/crozet-library-book-brigade.

    Please come visit the Western Albemarle/Crozet Library in Crozet Virginia.
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