Calgary

Library windows offer patrons opportunity to create lasting legacy

The new Central Library's unique design is being monetized by the Calgary Public Library Foundation to help it pay for programming.

Library foundation campaign sought funding and some words from literary-minded donors

Windows of Opportunity is a fundrasing program that allows donors to have their names or quotes inscribed in exterior glass panels at the new Central Library. This one is from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. (Calgary Public Library)

Thanks to an innovative fundraising program, there will be more than just sunlight shining through those 485 exterior glass panels of the new Central Library .

Windows of Opportunity is a program that allows donors to have their names embedded into the new downtown library, which opens its doors to the public on Thursday at 10 a.m.

Christine Gingerick, the library foundation's director of donor relations, spoke with the Calgary Eyeopener on Monday about Windows of Opportunity. She shed light on some of the more compelling contributors to the program, which has already generated thousands of quotes from posterity-minded Calgarians.

Christine Gingerick is the director of donor relations for the Calgary Public Library Foundation. (Calgary Public Library)

For a $100 tax deductible donation, a donor gets enough room to display their name or a short message (up to 35 characters).

For $2,018, donors get an entire window to themselves, up to 100 characters, and the message stays there for 10 years.

For $5,000, a donor's inscription — up to 200 characters long — will remain posted for 25 years.

Pastafarianism

Among the more than 1,750 Calgarians who have already donated to the program, there is one identified as the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

"It's an actual thing. It's Pastafarianism," said Gingerick, "which is actually a recognized religion in some countries. An anonymous donor made a donation for a window, and he's found that most donor recognition is kind of boring. So he uses Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. (The) full inscription is Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster: May You Be Well Sauced."

The new Calgary Central Library opens Thursday morning. (CBC)

That's one of thousands of quotations that donors have immortalized, Gingerick says.

"Some are serious. Some are funny.  (There are) some really memorable quotes about books (among them), like 'Sorry, they're overdue again,' or 'Books don't snore. Sleep with them,'" she added.

There's also a quote from fictional character Hermione Granger for Harry Potter fans: "When in doubt, go to the library," she said.

Book Club Challenge

The only stipulation regarding quotes is that they be tasteful, Gingerick said.

"We didn't have to refuse any. People were great," she said.

Funds raised by the Calgary Public Library Foundation go toward funding library programming, she said.

Christian Moeller was tasked with creating an interior wall of books whose nearly 11,000 spines, in 12 different colours, create the image of a goldfish. (CMLC)

Among the donors are 30 book clubs, each of which responded to the Annie Would Be Proud Book Club Challenge, named after Annie Davidson, who in 1906 started the Calgary Women's Literary Club, which still meets.

There's also the Final Chapter Book Club, the Wine Book Club & Drunken Poets Society, and even the Slow Readers Book Club.

Some of the quotes sing the praises of libraries, she added, particularly one from physicist Albert Einstein, no less.

"The only thing you absolutely have to know," Einstein is reputed to have said, "is the location of the library.'"

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stephen Hunt

Digital Writer

Stephen Hunt is a digital writer at the CBC in Calgary. Email: stephen.hunt@cbc.ca

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