By Lynn Macnab
“Dalkeith Plus” was the name recently given to the revamped Dalkeith library building, closed in September and now slated for a re-opening.
A grand opening and potluck set for November 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. will introduce the public to many new additions including sitting room, games area and an expanded computer corner. It now offers computer services and internet on two brand new computers and two that were donated.
The new Dalkeith library will also be open more hours per day. Classes, seminars and talks will also be on the venue.
“We understand that people in the Dalkeith area have been using the library as part of their social life and not just to take out reading material,” says Brenda Noble, manager of the newly founded organization. “We couldn’t just let them take this away. There’s not much else in Dalkeith.”
Noble was referring to the SD&G (Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry) Library Boards’s decision in April to shut down three of 18 libraries in the counties. The St. Andrews, Morewood and Dalkeith branches were closed.
“After they came and took everything away, we pulled together, gathered volunteers, met with members of North Glengarry council and made a plan,” Noble says. “We didn’t ask for any money, just that we get a chance to try and keep it going with the help of volunteers.”
Noble said council agreed to cover heat and hydro expenses this year and the library board has agreed to cover the cost of internet service.
Everything else will be run by volunteers who are presently being trained to organize and catalogue books. Others are learning the ins and outs of running a library.
All other expenses such as maintenance, paper, office and bathroom supplies will be paid for with membership fees of $25 per person.
Over 900 books, in both French and English have already been donated with more on the way. While volunteers build shelving, the furniture, desks, tables, chairs, filing cabinets, coffee makers and much more have also been donated.“The only thing we really need now is to build a website. The way things are going, I’m sure someone will be able to help us out,” said Noble.
While Dalkeith has made great strides, St. Andrews is still waiting approval from its council as to the next step and Morewood remains quiet.
Noble is grateful to council members for being on board and has invited Mayor Chris McDonell, Warden Jamie MacDonald, councilor Brian Caddell and CAO Daniel Gagnon to the grand opening.