The Innisfail Public Library is hoping to get by with a little help from their friends.
The Friends of the Innisfail Library Society, the non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to supporting the library’s programs and services, has applied for a $25,000 grant through the Pepsi Refresh Program. The funds would be used to purchase furnishings and equipment for the town’s new library, which is currently under construction across from the cemetery.
Society member Melinda Mercer was the one responsible for the application, and said it seemed like a unique way to fundraise for the new facility.
“I thought it was just a fun way to raise some money,” she said.
The money will be used to purchase tables, chairs, and shelving as well as soft seating for the teen and children’s area.
“I think it’s a really important service,” she said.
Library manager Laurie Hodges Humble said the application was “wonderful” news for the facility as it prepares to move into its new home later this year.
“It’s innovative and something we desperately need,” she said of the program. “The library adds value to the town in ways that can’t be measured.”
The additional furniture and equipment will be necessary as the new facility is nearly three times the size of the current one – 8,000 sq. ft. versus the current 3,000 sq. ft.
The challenge, Mercer said, is that the library’s proposal is up against other ideas from much larger urban centres, including Edmonton and Calgary. To qualify, it will need a significant buy-in from the local community.
Hodges Humble encouraged people to register so they could vote for the idea daily.
“It’s really not taxing the wallets of the community,” she said. “It’s only asking them to go online and vote.”
To qualify for the funding, the library’s proposal has to finish in either first or second place in its category. Currently, the entry is in 63rd place.
Pepsi will be awarding a total of $1,000,000 in grants to ideas that will have a positive impact on a community. Up to four $5,000 grants, three $10,000 grants, two $25,000 grants and one $100,000 grant will be awarded this year.
To vote for the library’s submission, visit www.refresheverything.ca/innisfailpubliclibrary. You can vote for up to 10 ideas per day through your Facebook account or by registering. Voting ends on June 30.