Library buys field of dreams

|Barbara Lawlor • Nederland|

The empty lot next to the Nederland Community Library may not look like much, dried grasses, thistles, the prolific yellow-flowered weeds that are everywhere this year, but this uncivilized piece of property is the field to NCL’s future. It is not important what it is now, but what it will be.
Recently, the NCL Foundation purchased the lot from Doc Mauer, who had originally intended to construct a multi-purpose building, but then, because of his respect for, and love of the library, he offered the Foundation a good deal. Last week, members of the Foundation as well as the NCL District stood in the field and congratulated each other for their good fortune and visionary thinking.
While the library was being built, the lot was used as a staging area for the construction equipment. The Library Foundation and staff realized that the bordering piece of Nederland property would be an asset to the library. No other sites were available nearby.
Susan Gerhart with the Library staff suggested, “We could landscape and use this area for outdoor reading. We would not build anything right away.”
The Nederland Community Library Foundation purchased the property with matching funds from the library district and from community donations. District Board President Kay Turnbaugh said, “Essentially, the Foundation donated the land to the District.”
Raising funds and making donations to the district enhances the functionality of both entities. The foundation is a non-profit, tax-deductible group, and the district is supported by taxpayers. The Foundation also donates funds for the purchase of iPads, young-adult books and furniture, and they help with the programs and the annual book sale during Miners’ Days.
All of this means the library has been a successful venture and will inevitably outgrow itself. It is so well used that, eventually, it will need more space to accommodate the community activities it hosts. It will also need more room for more computers and Internet stations, more children’s space and a larger meeting room that already requires standing-room only events.
Before anything else is done, we will pull the weeds, said Alberta Montgomery. Maybe they’ll even hire some goats. The ideas were tossed about. A gazebo?
Gerhart said, “Whatever we do with it, we have secured the land for the library’s future.”