By this time next year we’ll either already be enjoying our renovated, updated Chapel Hill Public Library or anxiously awaiting its imminent grand opening.

The new version of our library will be 125% the size of the old and with a huge increase in WiFi space which will draw more users to the new areas for community meetings and public programs.  Our community will also find (click here for link, then click “images” to view floor plan) a classroom/lab for high-tech instruction; programs to advance children’s reading and writing and innovative initiatives for teens.  

The Library is the busiest public library per capita in North Carolina serving approximately 375,000 people annually with an average of 1,085 visitors per day.  The library now checks out about 3,000 books and other items every day or over 1 MILLION each year.  With the increase in space, the library is also expecting an increase in borrowing- of approximately of 30–40%!

So while construction crews are working on the building, the Chapel Hill Public Library Foundation is working to fill that extra space with an extraordinary number of new materials.  The Foundation is hoping to donate enough money to allow the library to purchase about 20,000 books and digital materials, arriving catalogued and shelf-ready for immediate use on opening day.  I can’t think of a more savvy bit of spending.

The good news is that the Foundation (of which I am a board member- LOVE that library!) has already raised half of the $300,000 it will take to buy all those materials.  Thanks to the many generous folks who got us that far.  

The next half is up to you and your friends and neighbors.  Please join the Foundation’s efforts to provide the full Opening Day Collection grant to our wonderful and busy Chapel Hill Public Library.  In order to have the materials ready for the very first visitors, the Foundation will need to complete its gift (with your help) by the end of 2012.  

The library’s temporary location in University Mall continues to maintain high circulation numbers so I know many of you are relishing the idea of the expanded opening day collection.  Please help build it by clicking here and donating to the Chapel Hill Public Library Foundation.

Please share your thoughts about the library and how you’ve enjoyed it or it’s helped you.  Leave a comment below or write to me at