By Maygan Beckers

For the Canby Herald

Aurora, Donald and Hubbard residents will be signing up for their library cards to check out reading and listening materials from North Marion Community Library Association by early spring.

North Marion Community Library Association (NMCLA) rings in “connecting our communities for a lifetime of learning” by opening a nonprofit community library in the lower floor of Aurora’s Presbyterian Church, 21553 Liberty St. N.E., Aurora.

“For some time, several of us in the area had been working toward gathering information on starting a library to further literacy in our communities,” said Lori Leach, NMCLA president. “Our goal is to provide a place with resources for learning and literacy, (and) eventually adding other media, as well as Wi-Fi and computers.”

About four years ago, Leach heard of an open meeting regarding the concern over having no access to a local library. After the meeting, which was put on by Jan Metzger, who is now NMCLA’s secretary, Aurora’s former mayor Jennifer Strutz and Chris Halstead, the group saw the need for a community library and put their hearts together to make their dream a reality.

“For a community to thrive you should have a library,” said Josie Hyde, NMCLA’s treasurer.

Although residents have access to surrounding city libraries, a fee is required. According to Metzger, Libraries in Clackamas County (LINCC) charges library tax of about $100 per month. Woodburn Public Library allows residents of Marion County to receive a free library card but, if they don’t live within city limits, they’re restricted to one checkout and one hold, according to the library’s website.

After organizing permits and licenses, drafting by-laws and renting and managing materials, the community volunteers began fundraising. The association has accumulated about $5,000 from fundraising events including a winter dance party at Antonia Ballroom, rummage sales and local resident donations.

NMCLA plans to be open about three afternoons a week and have about nine working volunteers. The association will pay $525 for insurance which was recommended by the church, according to Metzger.

The library will offer a selection of used books, magazines and DVDs donated by Canby Public Library, Cedar Mill Community Library and local community members.

Aloha Community Library also donated custom-built wooden bookcases to the association. In addition, small wooden bookcases built by North Marion High School students in a woodworking class are being donated.

Hyde looks forward to preparing the room to distinguish the donated books that have been gathered and having a local library that will serve its community.

“It’s a matter of putting all the pieces together,” said Leach. “I am looking forward to preschoolers being delighted by story-time and school-aged children clamoring for the next installment in the latest series.”

NMCLA will host a dine and dance fundraising event at Topaz Bistro, 3519 Third St. in Hubbard, on Feb. 15 from 6-7:30 p.m. to help launch its grand opening. Live music by Level 2 will play from 7:30-10:30 p.m.

Call Jan Metzger at 503-678-1960 or Josie Hyde at 541-749-8088 for more information or to purchase tickets. No tickets will be sold at the door. Two tickets are $50, but one ticket is $30.

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