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The Ridgefield Community Library is getting closer to a reality. FVRL Executive Director Amelia Shelley shared an update with me. The Fort Vancouver Regional Library District is working with the Ridgefield Community Center Association to negotiate the donation of the building and wrapping up some site evaluation work. Both parties intend to make every effort to complete this process this summer. It appears that the building will serve as a match for a portion of the million dollar matching grant offered by an anonymous donor. An appraisal of the building will establish the value of that match. The Community Center Board is in the process of determining how much longer they will manage the property, the terms of the donation to the library and what they will do with the assets that remain.

To date, the Friends of the Ridgefield Community Library, the Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation and the Library District have raised and set aside nearly $1.3 million for this project. Those funds, combined with the matching grant, get us close to enough money to cover the estimated construction costs for the expansion and remodel based on preliminary estimates. Amelia said that she believes that another $800,000 to $1 million dollars will be needed for soft costs such as architects, engineers and other consultants, furnishings and fixtures, upgrades and amenities for the new library (such as an early literacy installation in the children’s area or a fireplace) and other facilities costs. The District intends to hire an architecture team this fall that can help establish a final project budget.

We have a Site

The FVRL Board

There were a lot of happy faces last night when the Board of Trustees of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library voted to accept the offer of the Ridgefield Community Center building to house our new library.

The gift of the building qualifies for the Million Dollar Matching Fund, which means we are well on our way to having enough money to design, enlarge and renovate the new library.

Now we have to ramp up our fund-raising activities to raise the last few thousand dollars needed to complete the building. The Friends of the Ridgefield Library are ready to do that – and I know you will help!

Two of our Friends who have worked so hard to raise money – President Jeanne Androvich and Secretary Jan Robinson

Our next fund raiser is at 3Peaks Public House and Taproom. Come and have dinner and a drink on Thursday, June 7, and a  portion of your bill will be donated to the Friends of the Library building fund.

It’s easy to donate to the library building fund. Make your check out to the Friends of the Ridgefield Library and mail it to PO Box 534, Ridgefield, WA 98642, or take it to the library. Contributions may be tax deductible. If you want to be a Cornerstone member by donating $1000, the money can be paid in regular increments, but you do need to sign a form in order for the Treasurer to track payments. You can designate your donation be used only for the building fund if you like.


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The Fort Vancouver Regional Library Trustees hold their monthly meeting on Monday, May 21, at the La Center Community Center starting at 6:00.

A work session is being held before the regular meeting at 4:45 p.m. and is open to the public. At this meeting Executive Director Amelia Shelley intends to ask the Library Board to consider moving forward on the Community Center as the location for the new Ridgefield Library.  They may also discuss cash reserves.

It would be wonderful if a huge crowd of people from Ridgefield showed up at the 4:45 meeting to show our support and enthusiasm. It’s been a long pull, but there is an end in sight!

The La Center Community Center is on North Highland Street, but I could not find a number.

Please note – this meeting is still tentative. Check the blog Monday morning in case any of the information changes.

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The Friends of the Ridgefield Library are again planning a CHAIR-ity Dinner/Auction this summer. It will be Saturday, July 14 at the Community Center from 6 to 9 pm. This benefit for the new Ridgefield library will feature delicious catered food from Herb ‘n Roots, an auction of small chairs painted by local artists, a little library, a bright red fire hydrant, among other auction items. Tevis Laspa is our auctioneer – he always makes things fun.

This tiny bench with a Peter Rabbit theme is one of the items that will be auctioned off.

We are looking for table hosts or hostesses to sponsor tables of eight, and if you’re interested in hosting a table, please contact me at 360-887-2160 or Cost of the dinner is $25, and hosts and members of the Friends get a bargain entry fee of $20.


Ridgefield Library Programs: April 24-28



   6:00 p.m.-Adult Book Discussion: We are discussing Defiancethe Extraordinary Life of Lady Anne Barnard by Stephen Taylor.


   10:00 a.m.-Stitchery

   10:30 a.m.-Preschool Storytime

   4:00 p.m.-Tween Book Discussion: We are discussing Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis.

   4:00 p.m.-Tween/Teen Gaming

   7:00 p.m.-Meaningful Movies: Movie title is Swim Team, a movie about parents of a boy on the autism spectrum form a competitive swim team, recruiting diverse teens on the spectrum. Using high expectations and zero pity to train them, what happens next alters the course of the boys’ life. Discussion follows.


   1:00 p.m.-Mahjong at the Library

   3:30 p.m.-Spanish Conversation Circle


   10:30 a.m.-Preschool Storytime


   9:30 a.m.-Friends Fair 2018: This is an opportunity for all the Friends groups in the Fort Vancouver    Regional Library District to get together and share what do. This takes place at the Rose Besserman Room at the 164th Street Transit Center. Please RSVP to the Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation to attend.

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Every month the Friends of the Ridgefield Library hold a silent auction to raise money for the library building fund, and this month the item is two table lamps. They are in excellent shape, and would provide a lovely accent for your home.

Visit the library to see the lamps and make and offer on them.


Just got back from the meeting at the Community Center with Amelia Shelley, Executive Director of the Fort Vancouver Library system, and I am excited. A good sized crowd listened while she gave a history of what sites for the library had been evaluated, and why they were not chosen. She then talked about the environmental and other studies that had been done to see if the current site of the Community Center would be feasible for a library.

The last thing still to be evaluated is the contamination of the soil around the Community Center due to the poisons put there by the wood treatment plant and the former dry cleaners. Those studies will not be complete for awhile – in fact a group will start drilling Monday to monitor what’s happening in the soil. This means the site will not be officially chosen for awhile, so things are still up in the air, but if the report is positive it looks as if we will have a new library soon.

Lots of questions were asked and answered. There was good audience participation. Jane Higgins, Board Member of the Library, complimented us on how well people in Ridgefield have worked together towards this common goal. Jane was a powerhouse in the building of the Battle Ground library.

The thing I liked best about the information given was the fact that the new building will be first class, with new HVAC, lighting, a new facade, etc. An addition to the east will enlarge the size of the building so it’s within range of the required space. Ms. Shelley has already overseen the building of new libraries around the country, and she has a good idea of what’s needed to make it happen.

Thanks to all who participated in the discussion, and remember – there are matching funds available for anyone who donates $10,000 or more to the Ridgefield Community Library Buiding Fund. If the money is a rollover from an IRA you do not need to pay taxes on it.

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Reminder – the welcome reception for Jessica, our new librarian is this afternoon from 4 to 5 at the library. Come and give her a warm Ridgefield welcome!

AND there is a public meeting tomorrow, Saturday, 11 am at the Community Center, seeking input from Ridgefield residents about options and opportunities for a new Ridgefield Community Library location.

Welcome our new Librarian!

On Friday, April 13, the Friends of Ridgefield Community Library are hosting a Welcome Reception for Jessica, the newest addition to our team of spectacular librarians! The reception will be held from 4 to 5 pm at the library and is open to the public.

In keeping with the Friends’ tradition, there will be yummy light refreshments, lots of great friends and probably more laughs than you’ll find in your typical library. Let’s give Jessica a good old Ridgefield Welcome by having lots of you come down to meet her and make her feel at home!

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I thought you’d like an update on the search for a site for our new library. The Community Center is being seriously considered. Engineering and environmental studies of the building are either finished or in the process.

There are some problems that need to be addressed, such as strengthening the roof and interior walls, but the prospect looks good. There will be a public meeting on Saturday, April 14, to present FVRL Board’s ideas. Put that date on your calendar.

The plan is to move the Community Center to the View Ridge site after the new school buildings are complete, so we will still have a large public meeting space. The best thing is that the Board of the Community Center voted to donate the building to the library, and the money would be eligible for matching funds from the anonymous donor who has pledged to match any pledge over $10,000 up to a million dollars. This will really help our fund-raising efforts.

Library Event Canceled

The welcome to our librarian, originally scheduled for Tuesday, March 27, has been canceled due to unexpected circumstances, It will be rescheduled for later this spring.

Welcome our new Librarian POSTPONED


A “Welcome” reception will be held on Tuesday, March 27, from 4:00 to 5:00 pm in the Ridgefield Community Library to meet and greet Jessica, the new Senior Library Assistant joining Sean, Lois and Anne-Laure as part of the Ridgefield Community Library team. She will be working three days a week. Dessert will be served. This event is sponsored by the Friends of Ridgefield Community Library and is free and open to the public.

Please come and give Jessica a proper “Ridgefield” welcome!

Library Programs March 13 to March 17

Tuesday March 13

Food for Thought: Cookbook Discussion. 6:00 p.m.-This month we will be sampling tapas from Spain and talking about recipes and techniques.

Wednesday March 14

Stitchery Group, 10:00 a.m.

Preschool Story Time, 10:30 a.m.

Ridgefield Gaming Group, 4:00 p.m.

Thursday March 15

Mahjong, 1:00 p.m.

Spanish Conversation Circle, 3:30 p.m.

UCAN’TDOTHATATTHELIBRARY, 4:00 p.m.-Altered Art-Choose a painting and add the Death Star or zombie beetles or Godzilla or…? For Tweens (ages 9-12).

Ridgefield Arts Experience, 4:00 p.m.-Sign-up by contacting Ridgefield School District Community Education to participate in a program where you make the scenery, the music, write the script, and, at the end, perform in front of an audience. Public performance at 7:00 p.m.

Friday March 16

Toddler Story Time, 10:30 a.m.

Saturday March 17

The Fabulous Moo Sisters in concert, 2:00 p.m.-Lulu Lafever will have you singing and dancing at this concert for children of all ages.

Families Drawing Together, 4:00 p.m.-We provide the pens and coloring pages. You create and take your creation home.

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The library will be open an extra hour on Fridays, starting immediately.

We will have a new librarian, Jessica Butler, starting this month, and the Friends of the Library are planning a ‘Meet and Greet’ welcome to her on March 27 at 4:00. Come by and say ‘hello’.

We had over 800 entries to the library’s Book Mark contest. They are on display inside the library and are very impressive. Librarian Sean McGill says it was difficult to chose a winner.

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Amelia Shelley, Executive Director of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library, spoke to city council Thursday night and discussed a proposal to have the library expand into the Community Center Space. Council seems to support this idea.

The Ridgefield Community Center board is very excited that their long time partner (FVRL) is interested in considering an expansion of the library at this location. They want to donate the building to FVRL! The value of this donation would be based on the building’s assessed value, likely over $650,000. Amelia reported that it looks like the Southwest Washington Community Foundation may match this donation through a donor advised fund.

FVRL is still in the analysis and feasibility phase of considering this opportunity. They have contracted withBergerABAM for a survey of the property, a phase one environmental analysis, construction analysis of the deficiencies discovered in the first phase analysis as well as having an architectural analysis of the space for program needs and possible exterior facade changes. This work will cost FVRL just under $35,000.

FVRL will share the results of this study and seek feedback from the community to assist them in making this decision. They will be hosting a public meeting at the Ridgefield Community Center on Saturday April 14th at 11 am. Everyone is welcome to attend. FVRL will also take written comments through the Ridgefield Community Library prior to that time for those who can’t attend.