Grow Nelson Library Fundraiser off to a good start

Construction for the expansion of the Nelson Memorial Library has officially started. Photo by Erin Conway/the News and Advance on June 28, 2019.

Efforts to raise money for library necessities to fill the expansion of the Nelson Memorial Library are off to a good start.

The Nelson Memorial Library in Lovingston has been seeking funds to purchase supplies to fill its expanding space, set to be completed in June 2020. Last week, Susan Huffman, branch manager, and Pam Roland, who spearheads the fundraising campaign through a group called Grow Nelson Library, announced the library has been successful in raising $134,000 in grant funding alone.

One grant for $4,000 is from the Community Foundation of the Blue Ridge; a $30,000 grant is from the Friends of James Madison Regional Library; and a $100,000 grant from the Friends Endowment. In July of 1992, the Friends of the Jefferson Madison Regional Library created the Library Endowment Fund with the Charlottesville Albemarle Community Foundation; the purpose of which is to support the charitable and educational purposes of the Friends and its affiliated agencies, including the library.

“It’s just amazing,” Huffman said.

The money from Blue Ridge has already been awarded and the money from the other two sources will be made available this month.

Dan Layman, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of the Blue Ridge, said often applicants aren’t awarded money on their first go-around.

“Our committee really recognizes that in rural communities, it’s often the public library that is the main gathering place for a lot of functions and people; they serve a very important role in the community,” Layman said.

Layman also said they were in favor of awarding money because what the library is trying to purchase will attract a younger crowd and provide them with practical life skills.

Huffman said along with that money, American Electric Power has provided $10,800 to fill the computer lab and the Torn Lands fund — a book written about Hurricane Camille — has $18,000 leftover, which will go toward the fundraising efforts as well.

The money raised will go toward filling the expansion with new books, computers, and media accessories. The goal of the Grow Nelson Library group is to reach $500,000.

Jamerson-Lewis Construction, in charge of the expansion and renovation, has hit the ground running as well. The parking lot next to the library where the expansion will be built is officially gone. Piles of asphalt and sidewalk are piled up in the grass, as they prepare to double the size of the current library. The library will remain open during construction.

“A lot of progress is being made,” Huffman said.

Erin Conway covers Nelson County for the News and Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5524.

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Erin Conway covers Nelson County for the News and Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5524.

Erin Conway covers Nelson County. Reach her at (434) 385-5524 or

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