St. Thomas Public Library Board is pleased to announce that the Library will be the major beneficiary of the estate of the late Mary Ann Neely. Ms. Neely, a former English teacher at Alma College and Parkside Collegiate, was a long time St. Thomas resident, a dedicated Library user and participant in the Library’s Book Club.
According to the lawyers handling the estate, the amount of the bequest is not yet finalized, though it is expected to be sizable. “The Library Board is thrilled about the news,” said Greg Grondin, Library Board Chair. “We will be setting aside a portion of the donation for Library materials. In addition, the Board is identifying a number of projects that could be funded through the generosity of this donation. The Board will be working with City Council to ensure this gift has the best possible impact for library service in the community.”
Possible projects a glass atrium and garden at the front of the library which will improve access, add more space and great natural lighting to the library’s main and lower levels. Another possibility is a series of mobile self-serve library kiosks, like vending machines, that would provide small rotating collections for underserved residents in the north, east and south.
Further details will be available as soon as the estate is settled, likely in mid-July. A press conference will be called at that time.
In accordance with Mary Ann Neely’s wishes the donation may be used for building renovations and library materials. Like all donations, this gift is intended for enhancements, or “new projects”, rather than to support regular operations.