The Wissahickon Valley Public Library has announced the launch of the public phase of its capital campaign for the Ambler branch renovation.

The Ambler branch library will undergo a major renovation and expansion this year.

“The library has raised $279,983 of its $400,000 goal,” said library director Anne Frank. “We also have secured a Keystone grant and obtained a low-interest loan to fund this much-needed renovation. This $3.1 million project will create a library for today and for the future.”

The renovation will add 2,400 square feet of community and program space, add a new children’s room, and improve accessibility by adding a ramp, new entrance, and handicapped-accessible bathrooms.

Library branch manager Anne Hall said, “For many years community members and library patrons have expressed a desire to renovate and improve this beloved branch library. In addition to the need for accessibility improvement, we ran out of space for programs, including Miss Michelle’s popular music storytimes, now drawing second and third generation family members.”

Other popular programs said Hall are the ESL conversation group and ESL homework help. “The library had no separate space in which to hold these programs, so ran programs in the middle of the library, while people searched for books and used the public computers. ESL teacher and volunteer Rita Moskoff said “An available, separate room would give the students a sense of group cohesiveness with no distractions from on-going library activity. Additionally, it would provide the other patrons their need for a quiet library without interruptions.”

In June, the library moved to a temporary location at Ambler Borough Hall to accommodate patrons during the building renovation.

Library director Anne Frank said “although we’ve had some construction delays, the library board expects to see construction begin this fall.”

The renovation to make the current library more accessible and to expand it for community needs will take approximately 12 to 15 months.

More information on the capital campaign is available at www.wvpl.org

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