West Tisbury Library reaches another fundraising milestone

— File photo by Susan Safford

The West Tisbury Library Foundation, Inc. announced Tuesday that it had surpassed an important milestone in its capital campaign: the state requirement of raising $902,000 in private matching funds by January 31, 2012.

“We’re pleased to let you know that our campaign so far has received more than $1.3 million in private donations,” said Hunter Moorman, chairman of the Foundation. He added, however, that the fundraising isn’t over yet. The campaign must still meet another fundraising goal: that of the town.

“Part of the understanding between the library and West Tisbury has always been that the library would contribute no less than $1.5 million, or 25 percent of the project cost, raised through private donations,” said Mr. Moorman. “Only then would the library Trustees come to the town, in April of 2012, to ask for the town’s share of 25 percent.” The Foundation believes it can raise the remaining $200,000 before the spring annual town meeting.

In July of 2011, the West Tisbury Free Public Library learned that it was one of only eight libraries in Massachusetts to receive a state construction grant that would pay about 50 percent of the cost of a much-needed renovation and expansion. Since then, the West Tisbury Library Foundation, Inc. has been conducting a fast-paced grassroots capital campaign.

Seed money for the library project came from a building fund originally amassed over the years by the Friends of the West Tisbury Library, Inc., who are leaving the capital campaign in the hands of the Foundation. A building committee appointed by the Selectmen has been working to design the project with a team of architects, guided by frequent public forums and focus groups to gather community input.

If the town approves its share of the funding, groundbreaking is scheduled for fall of 2012, with the library re-opening in fall or winter of 2013. During construction, the library will operate from temporary quarters.