From Mandy Kolesik, marketing consultant for Creston Library Board
Because of the interest in the name change, I thought you might like some more information.
The Matilda J. Gibson Memorial name came with a $25,000 gift to help build the library in 1931. According to library records, the Gibson family has not donated to the library since that time. The family was approached again when funds were being raised for the last renovation 20 years ago. The family declined to support the library as the Gibson descendants now live in Bartlesville, Okla. They choose to support efforts in that community instead. Which makes perfect sense. The family hasn’t been a part of the Creston community for many decades. I think it is very nice that people are still respectful of the Gibson family for donating that starter gift to the original library 83 years ago. But the Gibson family has moved on; I believe it’s time we do the same.
With input from interviews with more than 70 community members, the library board is thinking bigger. The plan is to provide more room for families who frequent the library, more technology for teachers bringing classes, and more programming that enriches individuals and the community. This is the trend in American public libraries. In the past decade more small town libraries provide classes, mentoring, tutoring and access to the arts. Your library board has uncovered similar unmet needs in this community and wishes to meet them.
Fundraising is much easier with a name that reflects programming. There are corporations and foundations donating to libraries around the country. They follow the programming, providing money and technology to support community oriented programs: tutoring, mentoring, enriching classes, opportunities to build intergenerational relationships and civic mindedness. To reach these major donors, the name must reflect the mission.
The Matilda J. Gibson Memorial Library name reflects a gift of $25,000, made 83 years ago, by a family that no longer resides here.
The Creston area Library and Cultural Center name focuses us on the community rather than on past donors. This name reflects positively on the community. It also reflects the expanded services that the new building will be able to offer. This new library would be an asset to this town, one more thing to be proud of.