Scoring the winning goal

Library, public meet $20K target to qualify for grant

DICKINSON COUNTY LIBRARY Director Megan Buck stands in the Reading Room that will be fully remodeled after a fundraising drive raised $20,000 to qualify for a matching $20,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photo)

IRON MOUNTAIN — The challenge: Within roughly a month, convince the public to pony up $20,000 for planned improvements at the Dickinson County Public Library, in the midst of the holiday shopping season.

The prize: A matching $20,000 Public Spaces Community Places grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation — but only if the Patronicity crowdfunding push could hit the mark by Dec. 31.

The answer from the community: No problem.

The ReImagine the Dickinson County Library campaign reached its goal Saturday, and as of Thursday has generated $23,290 to create an energized and modern Reading Room.

Megan Buck, director of the Dickinson County Library, said she wasn’t surprised by the support, just by the speed it all came together.

“I thought we would be this week really making that final push to get there. I knew the community would come behind us, but to have it happen so quickly, it was a very merry Christmas,” Buck said.

The library board already had set aside $130,000 for the project and plans to boost that amount to about $175,000 in 2018, Buck said. The more than $40,000 in additional funding from the campaign and matching grant means the project will surpass the $216,000 it originally sought to complete all the work planned.

The next phase will begin Tuesday, when the board is expected to approve starting the project.

“We weren’t sure if we would be able to move forward with the plans as presented until we met our goal and received the matching grant,” said Buck.

After that, the architect will prepare for bids to hire a contractor. “Then we will have a much better look at a time line for how the project will progress,” said Buck.

Although all construction comes with some inconvenience, Buck said they will try to avoid disrupting services.

“We will make a plan to make sure as much available as possible through out the whole project. We don’t anticipate any major closures. If anything we might have to close for a day, but not weeks or months at a time,” she said.

The library board took their patrons’ concerns into account when they proposed changes to utilize space and make it fully accessible, such as to handicapped restrooms. It also will create multi-level/enhanced lighting within the Reading Room, new comfortable and modern seating, reorganize the adult fiction and young adult collections, relocate the large print collection for greater accessibility, add another community meeting room space and make staff stations more accessible.

The original concept for the redesign can still be seen at

The library will continue to accept donations for the project until the end of the year and they always are willing to accept donations of any kind all year long for summer reading projects and other programs. All donations are tax deductible.

Buck appreciated the community’s support.

“I’m so grateful. It’s amazing. Our patrons are awesome. I knew it would happen, but having it come through so quickly was a pleasant surprise for sure'” she said.