Update on the Library Building Project

To everyone working hard to help bring a new Ridgefield Community Library to reality, here’s an update on the project from Amelia Shelley, Director of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District.

“Let me begin with an apology for the lack of communication about the project. Being in the midst of a pandemic has certainly slowed us down, but not dampened our desire to continue with this project. We believe that the challenges brought about by limitations placed on construction by the state can be overcome while still maintaining a safe workplace. The bigger question remains what the long-term economic impact of the crisis will be on the community and the region, and how a new library fits into Ridgefield’s recovery efforts.

FVRL has been in a holding pattern for several months waiting for additional comments coming from the City of Ridgefield about the project. I learned this week from City Manager Steve Stuart that there are no additional comments on the drawings that were submitted for permitting. We have instructed our architects to go ahead with requested revisions, amend the drawings and prepare to resubmit the drawings and specifications for permitting.

Currently, I intend to take the project before the FVRL Board of Trustees for a go/no go decision at their meeting on May 18, 2020. If approved, we are planning on putting the project out to bid in June, hopefully award a contract in July and start construction in August. We will also move into our temporary location at this time. We had hoped to use a book brigade for moving the library. Because of social distancing, that will now depend on timing and what’s allowed for safety.

FVRL is facing many yet to be fully understood challenges from the coronavirus crisis. We are fortunate that our primary funding source is property taxes but that does not shield us entirely from impacts to revenue. Despite these concerns, we’ve had a recent boost to the project from a $500,000 state capital grant through the City of Ridgefield. We are hopeful that with our capital reserves, grants, donations and legislative support, we will be able to move forward with awarding this project in July.

The most frequent question I receive about the Ridgefield project is if we still have funds to raise. I know there are opportunities for donors to support specific items inside the library such as furnishings, art rail, shelving and other enhancements. Information about remaining items in need of funding is available through the Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation.

As always, we appreciate the support of the Friends of the Ridgefield Community Library, the City of Ridgefield and our many library patrons. Our hope is that when we reopen, we will have some furnishings and finishes for the community to review and provide feedback on for the new library. Thank you for your continued interest and support!”


What’s New at the Library?

Our Vancouver Regional Libraries are still closed due to the pandemic, however Sean and his staff at Ridgefield Branch are thinking up ways to keep you interested and involved.

There are two books displayed in the library windows, and each day a new page is turned. Check it out when you’re downtown. Sorry for all the reflections in this photo – you can see I tried to stay out of the picture!

There’s talk of maybe using social distancing to pass out books on hold, so if you’re running out of reading material, find some books you’d like to read and put them on hold. When this service is offered you’ll be first in line.

National Library Week

‘Find Your Place at the Library’ is the theme for National Library Week, April 19-25, 2020.

The theme was chosen months ago before the emergence of the global pandemic forced libraries to temporarily close their buildings, and it makes us all realize how important libraries are. Our library and its staff are such an important part of our town.

Even though the physical building is closed, you can access online classes, stream documentaries, movies and TV shows, listen to music or read a book with eBooks and audio books. It’s all available at www.fvrl.org. If you need help it’s available at 360-906-5000.

And the Friends of the Ridgefield Library are still meeting (via phone) and discussing ways to raise more money for our new building.

Update on the Library

All Fort Vancouver Regional Library District libraries are closed until further notice, but digital services are still available with your library card. If you have books checked out, please hold onto them until the library reopens.

Book returns are closed. The library will not send overdue notices or bill for lost charges and your items on hold will still be waiting for you when the library reopens. Check out some of the things you can do from home at https://www.fvrl.org/resources-at-home.

Don’t Return Books

Please hang on to the books you have checked out from the library until further notice. All due dates have been extended until the pandemic is under control. If you have books on hold they will be waiting for you when the library reopens.

Some of the little libraries have been closed during this challenging time since there is no way to control what they have been exposed to.

Thought for the Week

Here’s how I’m handling the pandemic:

I read a lot, but with the library closed I thought I’d better stock up. Patrons emptied the shelves at the library on Saturday. It looked like at least 20% of the books were checked out. The “Lucky Day” shelf was completely empty. There’s going to be a lot of reading going on in our little town this week!



Library to Close

Dear library patrons,

Today, Governor Inslee issued additional measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, including closing public schools throughout the state. He also requested that other agencies and organizations do their part to minimize the spread within our communities. After much discussion with staff and our Board of Trustees, and in accordance with public health guidance, Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries has made the difficult decision to close our libraries to the public starting at the end of business today, Saturday, March 14. We will remain closed at least through Sunday, March 29.  

During the next few weeks we will take advantage of the closures to thoroughly clean all our locations and to create plans on how to restart services as soon as possible.

We understand the value you place in your libraries and the services we provide. While patrons can continue to use many of our services such as electronic books, streaming movies, and resources through our website, we know the library is more than just books. Many people count on us to provide in-person learning services and gathering spaces. We are choosing to balance the greater good to our community with a temporary loss of those services on which you rely.

For those of you who have already borrowed library materials, we are extending loan periods, and are adjusting holds for materials accordingly. We are also increasing the number of digital resources available during this time. As always, we do not charge late fees for overdue items.

We will continue to communicate with you as our response to this outbreak evolves. We look forward to welcoming you back into our buildings when this virus runs its course and our communities begin to reconvene and rebuild a sense of normalcy. Until then, visit us at www.fvrl.org to stay up-to-date on our closure and to take advantage of our great digital resources.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding,
Amelia Shelley

Executive Director

Update on Library

Have you been wondering what the inside of the library will look like? A committee of people met recently to chose colors and finishes, shown below. I’ve been told the colors are warm grays.

The choices are still tentative, but it’s another step in the process to building the library.

Library Programs Canceled

Based on an abundance of caution, Sean McGill of Ridgefield Community Library decided today to cancel library programs from March 13 through March 27. The Branch Managers will meet on a weekly basis to monitor the situation. They are following the recommendations of the Washington State Department of Health pertaining to mass gatherings and the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in our state.  The library will continue to be open on the regular schedule.

More on Library Naming Opportunies

Last week I listed half of the naming opportunities for items in our new library, and today I’m adding the rest. These less expensive gifts will go quickly, so if you’re interested you should take your check to the library as soon as possible or mail it to PO Box 534, Ridgefield, WA 98642.

For a $5,000 gift:

Staff workroom

Staff breakroom

Librarian’s Office

Magazine Area

Recorded Books  Area

Hearing Loop

For a $2,500 gift:

Computer Workstations

PA System

Young Adult Stacks

Fiction Stacks

Nonfiction Stacks

Children’s Room Stacks

Children’s Furniture

For a $1,000 gift:

Display Areas

Tables (8)


Lounge Chairs (14)

For a $500 gift:

Wooden Chairs (10)

Office Chairs (10)

For a $250 gift:

Children’s Stools (5)

Children’s Wood Chairs (12)

For a $100 gift:

Shelf End Panel (30)

Save the Date!

This fund raiser will raise money to buy a hanging system for art at the new library

Naming Opportunities

A naming opportunity presents a unique chance for individuals, families and businesses to write a chapter in the history of the Ridgefield Community Library. Through a naming opportunity level gift, you become a part of the library’s legacy for generations to come. For gifts of the following amounts, donors may be recognized for their contributions.

For a $1,000,000 gift:

Library Naming (RESERVED)

For a $250,000 gift:

Children’s Area (RESERVED)

For a $100,000 gift:

Community Room

Adult Reading Area

Young Adult Area

Adult Literacy Area/Info Center

For a $75,000 gift:

“Read with me’ Area

Kids Zone

Teen Zone

For a $50,000 gift:

Kitchen Area

Technology Area

For a $25,000 gift:

Teens Game Space

Circulation Service Area


For a $10,000 gift:

Main Entrance Area

Study Room

Art Display Area

Meeting Room Furniture

AV System for Meeting Room (projector, screen, controls)

Conference System

To be continued next week…


Love Your Library Benefit Tea

Saturday, February 22, Elizabeth Brush of Myrtle’s Tea House is offering a tea to benefit the library building fund. There will be two seatings: 12:00 and 1:30.

This charming tea house is at 322 North Third Avenue in downtown Ridgefield, and it’s always a pleasure to enjoy the ambience and good food at Myrtle’s.

Cost is $50 per person, of $45 if you are a member of the Friends of the Ridgefield Library.

For reservations and more information, contact Jeanne Androvich at 808-276-7088 or jeanne.androvich@mindspring.com.

James Roach – where are you?

We are making final plans for the Friends of the Library prime rib dinner at Gouger Cellars on Valentine’s Day. A man named James Roach expressed an interest through the library’s FaceBook page, but gave no contact information. If you are him, please contact me immediately at 360-887-2160 so we can get your information.

Support the Library!

Only two tickets remain for the gala Valentine Day Dinner at Gouger Cellars, so if you want to be in involved in this fund raiser for the new Ridgefield library, please call 360-887-2160 to reserve your seats. Cost is $75 each and there is a choice of prime rib or cheese tortellini with a delicious salad and decadent dessert.