By Cari Lynn Gawletz
You may have read a couple of weeks ago that we are fundraising to renovate our public washrooms. So far, we have had several donations, most notably from Ian and Rosemary Mottershead, the Cowan Foundation, and Capri Insurance. Still, we have almost $30,000 more to raise before we can start construction. We have applied for grants from many organisations, but we expect to still need some help from our wonderful community. If you would like to help, the Grand Forks Public Library Association is a CRA registered charity, and any donation of more than $25 will receive a tax receipt!
Here’s some more info on the project:
The library was built in 1982, and our washrooms have not had any upgrades since then. They leave a lot to be desired in comfort and accessibility. This summer, we underwent an accessibility audit by the Rick Hansen Foundation, where we were able to see the full extent of accessibility barriers in our public washrooms (it was bad). We have over 6,000 visits to the library every month – that’s more than 300 per day – and these visitors deserve safe, functional washroom facilities, no matter their age, gender, or level of ability. We value inclusiveness, innovation, diversity, and sustainability, which is why we are going to completely overhaul our washrooms from “men’s” and “women’s” rooms with stalls, and build four single-user, non-gendered washrooms in their place with water- and energy-saving fixtures. Three will be fully accessible, and the fourth will be packed with as many accessibility features as we can fit in. We’ll also be installing a water fountain in the hallway for anybody who gets thirsty!
We want to continue to be an innovative centre for the social, cultural, and information needs of the community, and this project will help us do that. If you’d like to donate, you may do so on the library’s Facebook page, on our website (https://grandforks.bc.libraries.coop/about-us/support-the-library/donations/), by mail (PO Box 1539, Grand Forks, B.C. V0H 1H0), or in person at the front desk.