c“Our needs increased,” explained NMAL board chair Becky Kipps. “We needed more space for computers, for books.”
Kipps says the volunteer staff explored the idea of building a new library, and then turned to the community for support.
They weren’t disappointed.
“We had some very generous donors,” recalled Kipps, adding that Anna and Cathy Hildreth donated the land.
“We like to call ourselves the little library that could, because this whole library from beginning to end has been a community effort.”
After raising the required funds, the new library was built five years ago at 160 East Lee Street. Kipps praises the architect for creating a structure both “lovely” and environmentally friendly.
“It’s a green building,” she said, adding that its made from recycled bricks, stones, and wooden beams.
From Nov. 3-9, the NMAL will be celebrating its fifth anniversary in the new location with a week of special events.
On Nov. 7, a Jazz Coffeehouse evening will take place at 7 p.m. Pastries and coffee will be served, and jazz music will be provided by Shenandoah Swing, a band from Shenandoah Valley Academy.
Kipps, who says the library’s Massanutten room has “amazing acoustics,” expects the event will be “perfect.”
“We have had musical performances annually at Christmas time from the choirs at SVA,” she said. “They were excellent, very high quality.”
Kelly Wiedemann, music department chair at SVA, says she formed the jazz band last year.
Though Wiedemann was raised locally, she briefly taught school in Chicago, before returning to teach at SVA.
“Jazz is very big in Chicago,” she explained. “So, when I moved back here, I saw that [jazz was] lacking in this area.”
According to Wiedemann, the students have “really taken” to jazz, and are excited to perform.
“We are grateful the library is giving us a venue to do this,” she adds.
The celebration will wind down Nov. 9, with the Shenandoah County Library Staff hosting a Technology Zoo demonstration at 3 p.m.
Intended to help holiday shoppers pick out the perfect electronic gift, Kipps calls it a “hands-on information session.”
Reflecting on the past five years, Kipps says she’s filled with gratitude towards the town of New Market.
“We are grateful and we appreciate all the support,” she remarked. “I know there have been many joyous moments [when the staff] look at each other and are so amazed and grateful that this has come about, that we have this facility and that our town has done this.”
Contact Katie King at (540) 574-6271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.