White Pigeon Township Library seeks funding for new outreach vehicle

Campaign has already raised 68 percent of its $184,600 goal

The White Pigeon Township Library is shifting gears so to speak, in its efforts to obtain a vehicle equipped to provide materials, resources, and services to patrons and residents who may not have access to the library due to mobility, transportation or socio-economic limitations.

In June 2023, the library began a fundraising campaign to purchase a Sprinter van to take books and other materials to those who cannot make it to the library building. So far, the campaign has been very successful, with over $126,000 collected.

However, the library determined that the Sprinter van would not be large enough to meet the needs of the community, and that a truck and trailer combination, outfitted with shelving, computers, Wi-Fi, reading materials, and take-home kits, would be a better fit.

With this change, the library has revised its fundraising goal from $279,000 to $184,600, with over 68% collected to date. The modified plan will now see the library purchase a 24-foot cargo trailer that will be modified to fit the needs of the outreach vehicle. The trailer will offer over 110 square feet of open floor space, allowing for more room for things like circulating items, work space, storage, and programs, and will include an accessibility ramp for patrons to use.

“This project will allow our library to serve residents in our entire service area of White Pigeon, Mottville, and Florence townships, whether or not they can make it to the library building,” Library Director Perri Saunders said. “We continuously strive to offer equitable and inclusive interactions, both inside and outside the walls of the library, and this is a wonderful opportunity to expand on that practice.”

Funding for the new vehicle will continue to be sought through local and regional grants, as well as individual and corporate donations.

“Through many years of careful stewardship of public funds, the library is in the position to expand our outreach services,” Saunders added. “This growth will not affect the library tax rates or what our taxpayers are paying each year.”

Those wishing to promote literacy and library services in the area may make donations directly to the White Pigeon Township Library or use the QR code at whitepigeonlibrary.org. They may also contribute to the library’s Outreach Fund at the Sturgis Area Community Foundation (SACF) by going to sturgisfoundation.org (click donate and choose White Pigeon Township Outreach Fund from the list) or mailing to 310 N. Franks Ave., Sturgis, MI 49091. All collected donations will be held in the SACF Outreach Fund until the purchase is made.

For more information regarding the bookmobile project, please contact Perri Saunders at the White Pigeon Township Library, 102 N. Kalamazoo St, P.O. Box 399, White Pigeon, Michigan 49099. She may also be reached at 269-483-7409 or emailed at [email protected].