I so often am reminded of how we come together as a community in New Albany.
A perfect example is the 16-year anniversary of the partnership between the New Albany Community Foundation and the Columbus Metropolitan Library.
The New Albany master plan always included a library in the town center, but funding restraints forced the Columbus Metropolitan Library to put a New Albany branch on indefinite hold.
The fledgling New Albany Foundation identified the library as an impactful first project. It set an ambitious goal of $1 million to underwrite the book collection for the library branch; this would enable the Columbus Metropolitan Library to move forward with construction.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough was the speaker for the first "A Remarkable Evening" foundation fundraiser in October 2002. He was the ideal choice because he is an ardent library advocate.
New Albany generously responded and an impressive $1.2 million was raised, exceeding our goal.
This campaign forged relationships that today stand as resolute as the library.
Since then, the New Albany library branch consistently has served as one of the most used and frequently visited libraries in the Columbus Metropolitan Library system, which includes the Main Library and 22 branches.
In 2017, the New Albany branch had nearly 1 million items circulated and more than a quarter-million visits.
Looking forward, with the city's exciting plans for the redevelopment of Rose Run Park and Dublin-Granville Road, the back of the library will gain new prominence. In fact, it is anticipated that the strong connection between the New Albany-Plain Local School District campus and Market Street will transform the back of the library into a second "front door."
So many exciting projects have transformed New Albany, and many of these begin with our committed volunteers, generous donors and visionary leaders.
Perhaps this, more than anything, is a reflection on the strength of the community.
Charlotte Kessler is a member of the New Albany Community Foundation board of trustees. She was a co-chairwoman of the fundraising campaign for the library branch in 2002.