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Delmont Library checks out fund-raisers

| Saturday, May 12, 2012, 2:32 a.m.

Members of the Delmont Library Board are hoping that old things can help them to get new things.

On Sept. 20, they are holding a used book sale, a this-and-that sale of quality used items, and offering raffle tickets for an antique quilt.

The goal is to raise $20,000 to complete a renovation project for new library headquarters.

The library occupies two small rooms in the municipal building, which used to be a school. The downstairs level, formerly a combination cafeteria and auditorium, is being remodeled through a $40,000 state Community Development Grant.

"We'll be on our own when that's used up, and we have a long way to go. We need to buy furniture and finish the electrical work and lighting," said Dianne Rigby, president of the board of trustees. "Grants are drying up, so we know we have to raise a lot more money."

Cher Anderson, who is on borough council and the library board, serves as chairwoman for the fund-raiser.

"If we're going to do this, I'd like to see a lot of new stuff," she said. "I don't see any reason why we can't do it. Every town deserves the best library it can have, and our motto is 'The future is @ your library ... Make sure your library has a future.' I hope we can have this completed sometime in 2004, which is the library's 70th anniversary."

Board members are collecting quality donated books for the sale that also will feature baked goods and raffle tickets. They are counting on generating a lot of interest in the quilt, which is made from flour sacks.

"They're very popular now, and I see them on eBay selling for $500 or more," Rigby said.

The quilt, big enough for a full bed, was made by her husband's mother, Susan Rigby, and Susan's mother, Anne Estok, an immigrant from Slovakia. Rigby believes that it was done sometime in the 1930s.

"Ken's grandmother lived with them, and he said he remembers the quilting rack being up in the living room all the time when he was a child," Rigby said.

The quilt is made from big flour sacks, which frugal women of that era sewed into aprons, clothing and household items.

"You didn't waste anything during that time," Rigby said. "My mother-in-law was very thrifty, so she made quilts out of the material. At first the sacks were creamy white, then they started making them in calico."

This one was in Rigby's mother-in-law's estate. Rigby thought raffling it off would be a good way to help the library.

The quilt has a diamond design edged with orange fabric, with a white backing. "There aren't any logos on the pieces because the women would cut them off," Rigby said.

It's finished with hand-tied knots and the inside, she believes, may be a wool blanket.

Tickets for the quilt go on sale at Delmont Community Days on Sept. 6. The winning ticket will be drawn at the library on Dec. 21.

The raffle and the other sales are only the first of the fund-raisers. Board members are hoping for a positive community response for this and other projects in the fund drive.

"We have a wish list where someone can purchase a table or a chair and have their name put on it, or purchase it as a memorial for someone," Rigby said.

The facility, which is run by librarian Diane Crede, has 1,535 card members and 15,891 volumes. The renovated area will double the existing space. The stage, which cannot be removed because it's built on concrete, has the potential to be an office, study room or a place for some of the library's programs.

"Tim Schmida, an architect who lives in town, donated an artistic rendering of what it all will look like," Anderson said. "We'll have that displayed at the book sale."

The library also is sponsoring a reading program that may get them a $1,000 grant from the Westmoreland County Federated Library System. People sign up to record their reading time and each library's goal is set by its size.

"Our goal is half a million minutes by Sept. 16, and I'm up to 13,000 minutes myself," she said.

The sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the library Sept. 20. For more information, contact 724-468-5329.

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