Denbigh Library opens.
Celebrating Saturday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Denbigh Public Library are, from left, MPP Randy Hillier, Coun. Tony Fritch, Reeve Henry Hogg, library board member Ann Ball, library board chairman Carole Lessard, library board CEO June Phillips, Ontario Trillium Foundation chair of the Quinte, Kingston, Rideau review team Nina Jenkins, library board members Carolyn Hasler and Mary McKinnon, Coun. Helen Yanch and library volunteer Jeanette Scott.
Denbigh sits just beyond Renfrew County’s border, but it’s no stranger to Renfrew residents, especially those who cottage in the region.
The small Addington Highlands community held a big celebration Saturday as it unveiled its new library, made possible thanks to $72,500 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Addington Highlands Public Library CEO June Phillips said the grant gives the community “a bright, accessible area to read, meet with friends or surf the net.”
“We are thankful for the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s commitment to building healthy and vibrant communities,” she said.
Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington MPP Randy Hillier, who attended the official ribbon-cutting ceremony, was equally pleased with the project.
“Education and knowledge are hallmarks of a prosperous society. I am pleased to see this Ontario Trillium Foundation grant will improve accessibility to library services for local residents,” he said in a municipal news release.
In 2011, the OTF gave the municipality $72,500 to relocate the Denbigh Library to the new Addington Highlands Community Centre on Central Street.
The new air-conditioned library is also fully-accessible, as are the unisex washroom and entrance to the building.
The renovations involved opening one and a half classrooms from the previous school to create one bright room with designated space for children, youth and teens; a space for adults to sit and read or visit with friends; and computer work stations.
The facility also offers high-speed internet and a wireless network.
“The new Denbigh Library is sure to provide a public service which will be a source of community pride for many years to come,” the Addington Highlands Public Library news release said.
The library’s winter hours are Tuesday 10 a.m to 3 p.m., Wednesday 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to noon.
Peggy Malcolm, Library Development Consultant with the Southern Ontario Library Service, sent a message that was read aloud to the guests at Saturday’s gathering.
“I wanted to be there to help the Addington Highlands Public Library to celebrate their achievement in opening the Denbigh branch in a new location. This library system, with branches in Flinton and Denbigh, has come a long way since I started working with libraries in the area,” she wrote.
“The library branches have become a ‘place to be’ in the community, and certainly a place to gather. When I was vacationing in the area this summer, I found myself like so many others, being drawn to the library primarily as a service to check my e-mail. This is a great service, and one that made me know that I could vacation in the area because I knew that I had .free access to the Internet nearby.
“The Denbigh branch provides that service, but it provides more than that. When I was there in the summer, a family came in to use the Wi-Fi -and their two children sat in the kid's area and looked at books, read some, shared some pictures with their parents working nearby, and just chatted. What more could a library offer than a place to relax, read, work if you want, as a family activity,” said Malcolm.
“The Ontario Trillium Foundation has been a great support to public libraries in this area by helping with renovations, computer equipment, new books, and various other ideas that the library staff and boards have deemed to be important. OTF has supported the Denbigh branch in the past to try to make the old site as accessible as possible, but when the new facility was available within the village, it was OTF who made the move of the Denbigh branch possible by covering many of the costs related to the renovation.
“I commend Trillium for their support of such a public facility. And I commend the library board, staff and volunteers for creating this wonderful space for the public, and wish you much success in the new location in the coming years. I'll be following the progress of the library with a keen interest,” Malcolm said.