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Friends of the Silver Bay Public Library Host “Love Your Library” Fundraiser

On the evening of February 10, the Friends of the Silver Bay Public Library hosted a “Love Your Library” fundraiser. About seventy people attended, and library director Shannon Walz described it as “so much fun.” A family-friendly social event, attendees could make valentines, take pictures in a photo booth with either a picture frame or heart-shaped balloon arrangement, view the preliminary plans for the renovation and expansion, and sample pie donated by Rustic Inn.

A short program was held introducing the Friends of the Silver Bay Public Library Host “Love Your Library” Fundraiser By Haley Searls and unveiling the plans for the renovation and addition. Local musician Robin Sunquiet provided an ambiance to the evening.

A grant from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Legacy fund made possible a new piece of artwork for the library, created by artist Catherine Meier, who was in attendance to discuss her work. Chosen from a number of proposals by local artists, Meier is a large-scale graphite artist. The piece she created is a large-scale pencil drawing of Palisade Head and Shovel Point. Meier’s work has been shown in museums, galleries, and film festivals. She was awarded a Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship in 2021 and a McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship in 2020. The frame for her drawing was made by her uncle, whose mother was one of Silver Bay’s first librarians, creating a rich family connection.

Why a fundraiser? The Friends of the Silver Bay Public Library are working to raise funds for the planned renovation and addition to the library, which will begin this summer.

What is this addition? Since 1999, the library has been hoping to renovate and add on to the library’s existing space. An addition has been part of the library’s strategic plan. The project will include a 750-square-foot addition containing a large, multipurpose room, a new entry facing City Hall, and two small collaboration rooms. The library interior will receive an updated look and mechanical systems update. In order to support more outdoor programs, a large outdoor patio will be built off of the current entrance.

What is the cost of the improvements to the Silver Bay Public Library? The projected total cost for the project is $1 million. In 2021, the library received a half-a-million-dollar grant from the Minnesota Department of Education, giving the project the boost it needed. Since then, the library has been hard at work to raise the additional funds needed. To date, IRRRB has donated $250,000 and the Blandin Foundation has donated $100,000. The library is still waiting to hear about another $95,000 in applied for grants.

What is the projected timeframe for the library’s renovation? Construction is hoped to begin this summer and come to completion by the end of 2023. Shannon Walz says, “The library is excited to share updates and seek community input throughout the process, so stay tuned for updates and more information.”

If you’d like to donate to the renovation and addition to the library, you can stop by or send your donation to the library at 9 Davis Drive, Silver Bay. Checks can be made out to Friends of the Silver Bay Library. What better way to love your library this month than to contribute to its growth for future generations of patrons?

Haley Searls
Haley Searls
Hello! My name is Haley Searls. I’ve loved writing from an early age, though my nonfiction writing at five years old consisted mainly of weather and gardening reports. I still have some of those early articles: “It’s sunny.” “It’s still sunny.” “It’s raining.” I’m glad to say my writing has improved since then. I wrote a guest post for the Silver Bay Public Library blog, and was the writer/editor of the newsletter for my American Heritage Girls troop. I have been writing for the North Shore Journal since June 2022. Besides writing, I love reading, drawing, photography, music, and spending time with family and friends. Two books that have really influenced my writing are Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky and Writer to Writer by Bodie and Brock Thoene. As a journalist, I want to share positive community interactions and inspire people to make lasting connections. Article topics that interest me are ones which show community activities and involvement. Such articles include community events, youth accomplishments, library programming, small businesses, local history, local artists and authors, art programs, and cultural events such as theater and dance. If you have an article idea, email the North Shore Journal with my name in the subject line! I look forward to hearing from you!
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