South Mountain Library marks 10 years after triumphing in the battle to preserve branch

SOUTH MOUNTAIN — There was a lot to celebrate last Thursday, as over 55 individuals came out to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the SDG Library’s South Mountain Branch at its current location.

The festivities were marked with a wine and cheese event that included a trivia board, memorial slideshow and a commemorative sketch of the building at 10543 Main St.

“The event brought together a variety of people with a connection to the branch — patrons, Friends of the Library, former staff and current staff” said Susan Wallwork, Communications & Marketing Librarian. “The celebration allowed people to reminisce about the history of the branch, in this location as well as previous locations, and also to think about the future of the branch.”

The South Mountain Library had been slated to close just over a decade ago — prompting the formation of the Friends of the Library and a successful campaign to preserve and relocate the facility out of its previous, aging digs in the village.

After the Friends’ successful pushback against the Library Board decision, a protracted lobbying effort ultimately persuaded North Dundas Council to contribute towards the approximately $400,000 cost of construction in 2009. The tide turned at council when then-councillor Eric Duncan broke ranks with his usual small-c conservative allies at the table and voted to support the project with the mayor and deputy mayor of the day, tipping the majority in favour. The township tapped into unallocated grant money previously received from the provincial government to help fund the work; neighbouring South Dundas was lobbied for a $25,000 contribution — in recognition of the users from that municipality — but turned it down.

The anniversary celebration coincides with Canadian Library Month, a time dedicated to honouring libraries and the value they bring to our communities.

The SDG Library continues to celebrate Canadian Library Month with a number of activities and Open Houses, including an upcoming visit by best-selling Canadian author Kelly Armstrong Oct. 23 at the Avonmore Library Branch inside North Stormont Place. The author’s 6 to 8 p.m. visit concludes the 2019 “community book club” program at SD&G County Library branches that featured her ‘Rockton’ thriller series.

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