More than 2,000 people joined the One for the Books festivities at Main Library in November to say goodbye to the current Main Library. Some had grown up using the Main Library and others were visiting for the first – and last – time before demolition. From each, we heard thank you for inviting the community to reflect and remember, and eager anticipation for the debut of a new Main Library. Celebrations included public tours and activities, a special event for Library staff and retirees to say goodbye, as well as a wall-breaking event for donors to the CommonSpark campaign.
Many left with a memento, won in an auction of chairs, artwork, column quotes and other unique pieces that raised over $20,000 to support the construction of the new uptown destination.
Graffiti was a highlight! Guests left their mark on the walls with spray paint and markers in sight of internationally known mural artist Osiris Rain, who produced a 2-story Ode to Knowledge in the Great Hall over the course of the event.
Other artists who brought the event to life included 54 local authors read aloud – along with community volunteers – in 24 Hours of Booky and 13 visual artists who re-imaged bookends and Library chairs into works of art. Two award-winning poets, Dannye Romine Powell and Boris “Bluz” Rogers, commemorated this turning point in the Library’s story with original works.
The branches were part of the celebration too! Throughout October “Goodbye Main” activities were featured in Library locations across the County.
This community invested time, talent and treasure in making One for the Books happen, and we are forever grateful. A team of volunteers, led by Foundation board members Sarah Dodd and Lauren Woodruff, began planning this event over a year ago with flexibility and creativity throughout the COVID pandemic.
Generous support from presenting sponsor Lowe’s, as well as Wells Fargo, Reemprise Fund, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Todd Murphy Events made One for the Books free and open to all. More than 70 volunteers assisted throughout the nine days, and extensive media coverage helped raise awareness.