Peninsula Community Library Sets Grand Opening on Old Mission Peninsula
Grand Opening Set for New Peninsula Community Library | Jane Boursaw Photo
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The grand opening for the new Peninsula Community Library (PCL) is set for Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, 10 a.m, in their new building at 2893 Island View Road (corner of Island View and Center Road).

Everyone is invited to this event, which will include a few words from Tim Carroll, whose donation made the Local History Room in the new library possible. There will also be introductions and accolades for everyone involved in the project, including the PCL Board and staff, major donors, engineers, designers, construction and landscape crew, and all those who volunteered along the way.

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“I hope everyone will come out and enjoy this wonderful gift from the community to the community,” says PCL Director Vicki Shurly, adding that she’s grateful for everyone who stored items between the time the library was closed at the school until the move-in day last week.

“We could not have done it without you!” she says. “As Josh Wunsch said so many years ago about a temporary move we made for school renovations, ‘This is what a community does!’ I am so grateful, and I’ll see you in the new library soon!”

While the actual construction of the building has taken ten months, beginning in November 2018, the planning, designing and fundraising have taken just a bit longer than that.

A Brief History of Peninsula Community Library

Peninsula Community Library opened on a summer’s day in 1957 and was first housed on the stage of the gym at the new Old Mission Peninsula School.

However, its roots date back to 1859, when township residents voted to form a library and house it in a private home until 1910, when the electorate voted to apportion its books among the various Old Mission one-room schoolhouses.

On May 29, 1959, residents voted to establish the library as a township library under the requirements of the State of Michigan. Today, Peninsula Community Library is still an independent township library with its own elected governing board of trustees, operating by contract within and a part of the Traverse Area District Library in Traverse City.

Here is a timeline of events that happened in order to make the new Peninsula Community Library a reality.

Timeline for New Peninsula Community Library

1990: Visionary PCL Board, including Carol Zaremba, Ann Swaney, Wendy Houlihan, Bud Quick, Christine Kurtz, Linda Ligon and Mary Johnson (my mom) facilitates the library’s purchase of 5.25 acres on the corner of Center Road and Island View Road. Read more about that, along with my memories of PCL librarian Mrs. Arney and six reasons why we needed a new library here.

January 2016: The possible closing of Old Mission Peninsula School impacts the future of the library, which had been located in the school since the 1950s. PCL Director Vicki Shurly assures the community, “You will always have a library on the Old Mission Peninsula.”

September 2016: PCL Board votes to begin planning the construction of their own building on the corner of Island View Road and Center Road.

February 2017: Team-building meeting takes place to discuss raising funds and building the new library. Reps from Cornwell Architects, engaged by the PCL Board to design a library that fits the rural aesthetic of the Old Mission Peninsula, are on hand to answer questions.

March 2017: PCL unveils architectural plans for new library at “Books at the Boathouse” fundraiser.

May 2017: Library receives anchor donation of $750,000 from Bill and Nancy Davy. This brings the total raised to $1.1 million of PCL’s $2.5 million goal.

June 2017: PCL hosts pig roast on land where new library will be built to celebrate reaching half-way mark of fundraising goals. See photos here. Also, Talbot’s in downtown Traverse City donates a percentage of sales towards the new library.

September 2017: Fundraising campaign reaches $1.5 million.

November 2017: With a donation from Tom’s Food Markets for the children’s and teens area, fundraising reaches $1.6 million.

February 2018: “Buy a Brick” campaign kicks off, and fundraising for new library surpasses $1.8 million.

March 2018: “Jesus and Me” kids’ group raises money for new library.

April 2018: “Books at the Boathouse” event brings library fundraising to $1.95 million. Peninsula Township Board approves a special use permit for the new library.

May 2018: PCL hosts “Mocktail Party,” kicking off silent auction to raise funds for new library.

June 2018: PCL hosts picnic to celebrate reaching $2 million of fundraising goal.

July 2018: Neahtawanta community donates $50,000 towards new library. Also, the fireplace will be named after visionary PCL board member Mary Johnson, with a mantel from the historic Johnson Farms barn. Other sponsor donations include Paula Kelley (reception area), the Beers family (children’s garden), Jim and Fran Krupka (back porch) Jon and Sue Kinne (coffee bar), Ellen Kerr and Anne Griffiths (high-tech hearing loop), and the Friends of PCL, which donated $35,000 for a room in their name.

October 2018: PCL breaks ground for new library. See photos and video here.

November 2018: Tim Carroll chats with Old Mission Gazette about his $45,000 donation towards the Local History Room. Grand Traverse Construction begins building the new library. See photos here.

December 2018: PCL celebrates year of growth. See photos of new library under construction here.

January 2019: Cement is poured for the new library. See photos here.

April 2019: Tim Carroll talks Old Mission Peninsula history at 2019 “Books at the Boathouse.”

May 2019: PCL receives grant from Old Mission Women’s Club for outside drop box and hosts “Wine Down With Chocolate” fundraiser and silent auction.

June 2019: PCL staff, volunteers, friends and donors tour library under construction. See photos here.

July 31, 2019: Last official day for Peninsula Community Library at Old Mission Peninsula School. Books and furniture are stored in OMP residents’ homes until the official move-in day at the new library.

August 2019: Construction continues, opening date is set, and volunteers help move books and furniture into the new library. See August 26, 2019 move-in photos here.



PCL Director Vicki Shurly notes that the library will be open until 4:30 p.m. that day. Going forward, library hours will be:

  • Monday and Thursday: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

She also notes that because of the construction and period of time when the library was closed, PCL will forgive all late fines accrued at the library through September 30.

Also, the library phone number is now available again, as well. Call (231) 223-7700 if you have any questions.

See you at the grand opening of the NEW Peninsula Community Library – the HEART of the community!

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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