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Shaler North Hills Library looks 'fore' new ways to raise money

| Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Shaler North Hills Library will tee off on a new signature event to bring families to the library while raising money to expand its resources and programming.

On Saturday, Feb. 23, the Friends of the Library group and volunteers will transform the library into a miniature golf course, with holes winding their way through the book stacks, for the first “Caddy Stacks!” miniature golf event.

“Caddy Stacks!” is the first event of its kind sponsored by the Friends of the Library, with all proceeds going toward books and programming for the coming year.

“That's what funds our programs, the Friends of the Library,” said Sharon McRae, library director.

The Friends of the Library has hosted two used-book sales each year to raise money for the library; however, the group recently started to look for another event to raise money for the library.

“You can see the environment change a little bit with used book sales,” said Sharon McRae, library director. “With the recession, we've had less donations come in with the book sale because people aren't buying as many books; (instead) library usage went up.”

McRae saw other university and public libraries hosting similar events and thought it would be a good fit for Shaler North Hills Library, and the Friends of the Library embraced it as a new fundraising event.

Each hole will feature a different theme created by families and individuals who have offered to adopt a hole.

Janet Miller of Etna is a member of the Friends of the Library and decided to take her grandchildren's love of The Beatles to create a Beatles-themed hole with them.

Miller said the three of them are brainstorming a hole that will travel through the music book stacks and take visitors down Penny Lane, through a Yellow Submarine and to Strawberry Fields.

“It's kind of neat grandma and her grandchildren can kick it around and come up with something together,” Miller said. “To actually have a little project to do with my young grandchildren is exciting.”

Volunteers also have committed to creating holes with themes such as Lego blocks, Halloween, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and Harry ‘Putter' and Beatrix ‘Putter' after the popular book series and “Peter Rabbit” series author.

“I think it's an experiment in how to raise funds a little differently,” said McRae about the event.

Shaler North Hills Library is not known as a “stuffy library,” McRae said, and she hopes visitors will see that next Saturday. The library will operate on its normal schedule, so visitors should be aware of a little extra noise, excitement and visitors, McRae said.

Library staff hopes the event will fill a fundraising need for the library, as well as cater to families in the community by providing them with a low-cost activity to get them out during the winter.

“We are a Family Place library, so we are always trying to find ways to meet family recreational needs as well,” McRae said.

“It's a fun day to spend time with your family, it's not terribly expensive, it doesn't take all day to play, and its supporting the library at the same time.”

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or bhofstetter@tribweb.com.

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