Projects

The Friends have funded and contributed to several exciting library projects over the years.  Our goal is to make an awesome resource ever better through thoughtful, enriching projects and programs.

 

Here is a brief list of Friend projects and programs that your contributions have helped fund:

  • KDL MakerSpace

  • Author visits such as Grace Lin, Hena Khan, and Chris Van Allsburg

  • Freshwater fish and turtle aquarium maintenance

  • Private study rooms

  • Fireplace & magazine area

  • Book clubs for teens, adults and families

  • 2010 ArtPrize winner Chris LaPorte's large-scale "Ice Breakers" drawing installation

  • EGR architectural and trolley tours

  • Library expansions and renovations (1987: $90,000, 2005: $100,000)

  • 360 degree online library photo tours via Google

  • Little Free Libraries in John Collins Park and Blodgett Hospital

  • Funding contributions to:  Taste of East, Gaslight Tree Lighting Celebration, Movies in the Park

  • Sponsoring new library furniture, shelving, staff supplies, seasonal decorations, art supplies

 

Check out some of the projects below:

Freshwater fish & turtle aquarium

Our freshwater aquarium is home to several species found steps away in Reeds Lake and is popular draw for kids and adults alike.  The Friends helped fund the installation and contributes to the ongoing maintenance.  You'll notice the Pewabic Pottery glazed tile decorating the façade contributed by former Friends board member Ken Matheson. ​

Hey Turtle!
Hey Turtle!

Aquarium
Aquarium

Pewabic Pottery tile detail
Pewabic Pottery tile detail

Hey Turtle!
Hey Turtle!

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Fireplace & Reading Area

The Friends contributed to the library's relaxing, cozy fireplace area.  You can grab a book, browse a magazine, listen to music and enjoy the wonderful eastern views of Reeds Lake.

Fireplace Area
Fireplace Area

Hexie Project
Hexie Project

Lake Views
Lake Views

Fireplace Area
Fireplace Area

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Chris LaPorte's "Ice Breakers"

2010 ArtPrize winner Chris LaPorte drew this large-scale paneled drawing with 2H pencils.  This a connection to the city's history as it depicts a 1910 photograph of men working for the Consumers Ice company along Reeds Lake.  The acquisition and installation was championed by the Friends' own Mary Dersch.  You can find the drawing on the left side of the main entryway of the library.  Learn more about Ice Breakers.

Ice Breakers drawing
Ice Breakers drawing

Ice Breakers Donor plaque
Ice Breakers Donor plaque

Ice Breakers drawing
Ice Breakers drawing

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Little Free Libraries

The Friends maintain and stock two local Little Free Libraries, providing a complementary book exchange for the public.  You can find one at the north entrance of John Collins Park along Reeds Lake, the other is located on the 2nd floor of the Blodgett Memorial Hospital surgical unit - serving patients and families during their stay.  The libraries promote readership for all ages and are a fun way to extend the reach of our the main library branch.  Search the Little Free Library World Map to find the John Collins location:  https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/ .

John Collins LFL
John Collins LFL

John Collins LFL
John Collins LFL

John Collins LFL
John Collins LFL

John Collins LFL
John Collins LFL

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