Be Part of the Story: Radnor Memorial Library to Launch Capital Campaign

The Radnor Memorial Library will officially launch their capital campaign to the community on March 1.  The Be Part of the Story capital campaign will ultimately raise $1 million to renovate and expand the library building. The library has already raised more than $530,000 in gifts and pledges as part of the ‘quiet phase’ of the campaign that began in early 2015. 

To celebrate the launch, Mrs. Dorrance Hamilton and The Hamilton Family Foundation have issued a challenge grant that will match any new individual or family foundation gifts up to a total of $50,000.

“Many individuals and family foundations have already contributed to this campaign,” said Anny Laepple, Executive Director of the Library. “We want to also give an opportunity to our many patrons to be part of the story of the library. This is a project that our patrons and donors will be able to enjoy.”

Staff and board members will be available on March 1 in the library to talk to patrons about the renovation and expansion of the library as part of a kickoff event. Information about the project and how to donate will be available in the library, and is also at http://www.RMLstory.org.

The library is planning a series of fundraising events over the next year, including the upcoming The Emergency Aid of Pennsylvania’s Taste of the Main Line, March 10, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Grand Atrium of the Radnor Financial Center, of which the library is one of this year’s beneficiaries.

“The Emergency Aid of Pennsylvania Foundation, Inc. is proud to Be Part of the Story for the revitalization project of the Radnor Memorial Library through our support for the new Family Play Area. We are a volunteer organization with a rich history in its 102nd year that continues to work to improve the lives of women, children and families and promoting education, leadership and community service for young women,” said Sandra Pfaff, co-chair of The Emergency Aid’s Board of Directors. “We applaud The Radnor Memorial Library’s mission to enhance the quality of life in our community through life-long learning for its families and residents.”

The plans to renovate and expand the library began in 2014 with an application for a Keystone Grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to replace the aging HVAC system, add an elevator and renovate restrooms. The Radnor Memorial Library’s Board of Trustees decided to take that opportunity to obtain studies to identify other needs of the library, and the recommendations were unanimous: the library needed more space.

The renovation includes a 6,700 sq. foot addition, with a new and efficient HVAC system. Some of the features that will be included are small group meeting rooms, an expanded Children’s Library and play area, a dedicated and enclosed teen area, a family restroom and an elevator.

The entire project is estimated to be at a $5 million cost, and will be funded with a combination of private and public monies, including the Keystone Grant, funds from the library’s trust, foundation grants, as well as donations from individuals and families through our capital campaign. The library’s entire Board of Trustees, as well as many staff members, have made personal financial commitments to the project.

Additionally, as the library building is Township-owned, Radnor Township commissioners voted on October 26, 2015 to issue a bond that includes $2.5 million in funding for this project.

In 2015, the library received more than 230,000 visits, with more than 257,000 check outs, both physical and electronic, and had more than 17,000 registered borrowers. It offered over 600 programs for patrons of all ages, from babies to seniors.

“The Radnor Library is already a great place because of the staff, the location and the active programs,” said Carol Beers, a resident of Radnor Township for more than 20 years. “When I stop by for a book group selection, I often see preschoolers, seniors or middle school students all benefitting from the library in different ways. I am excited about the planned renovations that address the aging building, and tailor the space to current usage. The library will be a revitalized, essential asset in our community.”

Construction is slated to start this summer, and should take a year. During the renovation the library building will be closed, however, library services will be available on a limited basis at an alternative location yet to be determined.

Plans, fundraising events and progress information will be available in a new library website available starting March 1, coinciding with the capital campaign’s launch. 

For more information and to learn more about how to donate to the library’s capital campaign, please contact Anny Laepple, Radnor Memorial Library’s Executive Director at 610-687-1124 extension 10 or alaepple@radnorlibrary.org.