Story last updated at 2:04 p.m. Thursday, November 28, 2002

New library fund-raiser goes 'Dewey'
by Carey James
Staff Writer

photo: news

  Photo by Carey James, Homer News
Margaret Pate, one of the library's longest supporters, joins Zoe Coyle, a new book fan, in front of the library's fund-raising "thermometer" Monday to celebrate topping the $1,000,000 mark.  
Standing outside the Homer Library, holding one of its newest members in her arms, Margaret Pate, now in her 90s, recalled how vital the library was to her first years in Homer in the 1950s.

"I think it was one of the greatest deterrents to cabin fever," Pate said. "It was almost a lifeline. We were truly isolated then. It was pretty remote."

For Zoe, daughter of Dan Coyle, the ability to express the allure of books may be a little ways off, but her father said books are vital to the family of six.

"Reading is such a big part of our lives," he said. "It's exciting to be able to think about the opportunities we have right now to truly serve this town and the next generation."

Zoe and Pate gathered outside the library Monday to mark the fact that fund-raising efforts toward a new library have raised about a third of the money needed to build the proposed $3.4 million facility.

But with the equity from the current building included in the $1.3 million, library fund-raisers say they still need help from everyone in the community to reach their goal.

"This library is going to be built with nickels and dimes, not giant donations," said fund-raiser Kathleen Putman. "That means we're going to need lots of nickels and dimes."

To that end, the library has launched a series of "Dewey Events" starting with a dramatic reading of "The White Dove" by Shirley Timmreck at the Bunnell Street Gallery at 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $25 and are on sale at the library, the Homer Bookstore or at the door.

Other events, including a bowling party in January, will further promote the fund-raising effort.

The city council has yet to decide on a site for the new library, a detail needed for many grant applications. A decision is expected in January, but at last Monday's meeting, library board chair Nancy Lord urged the council to move as quickly as possible to identify a site.

Putman said the library is also looking for volunteers to get involved with the fund-raising effort, doing everything from hanging posters to helping organize events. Anyone with ideas for future "Dewey Events" is encouraged to call the library as well.

"This is really a grass roots effort," Putman said. "It's got to come from Homer. But that's part of the cool part. It will really be our library."

For more information on the library fund-raising effort, call 235-3180.

Carey James can be reached at cjames@homer