| Nov 22, 2012

Photo: back row l-r,Councilor Tony Fritch with library board members Carol Lessard, Ann Ball, Carolyn Hasler and Mary McKinnon, front row l-r, MPP Randy Hillier, Reeve Henry Hogg, OTF district chair Nina Jenkins, Councilor Helen Yanch and volunteer Jeanette Scott (hidden is June Phillips) courtesy of June Phillips

The new Addington Highlands Community Centre located in the former Denbigh school has now become the official home of the Denbigh Public Library. The new library was unveiled to the general public in an official ribbon cutting ceremony that took place on November 17 and was attended by many members of the community; local dignitaries, including MPP Randy Hillier, Reeve Henry Hogg and members of council; and the library board and staff.

The new library branch, which was formerly located in the township hall, offers patrons and visitors a fully accessible, air-conditioned facility with unisex washrooms in what were two former classrooms in the new community center. The two classrooms were opened up into one single space, which provides visitors with a 1200 square foot facility that boasts numerous south-facing windows.

Along with a large selection of reading materials, DVDs and audio books for all ages, the new branch now includes a children’s section, a youth and teens’ area and a comfortable lounge area for adults. The branch also houses six new computer work stations and wireless internet access.

Also in attendance at the ceremony was Nina Jenkins, chair of the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) review team for the district. It was thanks to a $72,500 Trillium grant that the library was able to move to the new community centre. “With the over $120 million of funding from the province available to us, our goal is to invest in communities. Over the past 30 years we have found that there are many ways to strengthen the province and one of the best ways is to support local communities and their volunteers,” Jenkins said. She stressed that, “...a fully accessible library is more than just bricks and mortar. It is a place where people come and can be supported in reaching their full potential. So for us at the OTF the grant was about making an investment in the community and visitors to the community by offering them a place to have fun and to enjoy the world that books can open up to us all.”

Hillier congratulated the council and the library board on the new facility. “It's wonderful to be here and to see this new library branch. Libraries are a key to knowledge and understanding and these kinds of projects are the ones we need to see more of in these rural communities,” he said.

June Phillips, CEO of the Addington Highlands Public Library, said she was thrilled to see so many people out to support the new branch’s official opening.

The Addington Highlands Community Centre – Denbigh already houses the Lakelands Family Health Team offices and the local food bank, and the addition of the library is fast creating an important new hub in the Denbigh and area community. The centre will soon also be home to a privately owned cafe as well a full kitchen/bar and a gymnasium facility where a myriad of community events will be able to take place.

Addington Highlands councilor, Tony Fritsch, spoke last at the ceremony and thanked the many community volunteers who offered their skills, knowledge and elbow grease throughout the project. “Without the local volunteers, projects like this would not see the light of day. It is thanks to them and their dedication and desire to do something positive for the community, as well as to the OTF, that we owe our thanks.”

The new Denbigh library branch is located in the new Addington Highlands Community Centre at 31 Central Street. Winter library hours are Tuesdays 10am-3pm, Wednesdays 4-7pm, Thursdays 10am-3pm and Saturdays 9am-noon. For further information contact the new branch at 613-333-1426.


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