Roseland library fundraising effort going well

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It’s looking more and more like the effort to open a temporary library branch in Roseland is no longer a matter of if, but when.

As of Wednesday, library advocates said they were only $10,000 shy of reaching their fundraising goal of $190,000, with more donations coming in daily.

The group already has exceeded by $10,400 the goal of raising $10,000 through an online crowdfunding effort, for a total of $20,400. And they’re a month ahead of schedule.

“We’re already talking about which events and classes to get out there. I’m certainly keeping my staff busy preparing,” said Brett Lear, director of the Sonoma County Library.

The library is hoping to open the Roseland branch by the first week of November inside the old Furniture 2000 store on the site of the former Roseland Village Shopping Center, which is under redevelopment.

Lear said the date is unlikely to be moved up despite the pace of fundraising. He said materials still have to be ordered and that improvements need to be made to the branch’s future location.

Advocates long have sought to bring books, educational programs and other services to the community southwest of Santa Rosa.

The Sonoma County Library is partnering with the Library Foundation, the county’s Community Development Commission and other groups to try and make that dream a reality.

“The momentum for this effort just continues to grow,” said Jack Tibbetts, a member of the Library Foundation’s board.

Lear previously outlined some of the programs he said he hopes will be offered at the Roseland branch, including art programs for kids, workforce training programs and English-as-a-second-language classes. About 60 percent of the books would be in Spanish.

Lear said the branch would be open during the week around the time kids get out of school and into the evening hours after people are off work, as well as one day on the weekend.

The branch initially would be approved to operate from November to June of next year, when the fiscal year ends. Whether the branch remains open after that becomes a budget decision.

For information about the crowdfunding campaign, visit: www.indiegogo.com/projects/roseland-village-library.

You can reach Staff Writer Derek Moore at 521-5336 or derek.moore@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @deadlinederek.

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