Saturday’s Book It 5K was the first fun run held in John Day to bring attention and funding to the Grant County Library Foundation’s capital campaign.

A group of 13 runners, joggers and walkers, plus one furry friend took off from the starting line, located at the planned future site of the library at 125 NW Canton St.

Participants ran down to the Seventh Street Complex, then along the John Day River on Prospector Trail, around the John Day Community Garden, then back to the start.

Organizer Ashley Armichardy, who is also library foundation secretary, said the capital campaign is ongoing to support the construction of a new library, and they plan to make Book It 5K an annual event.

Plans are for the new building to be twice the size of the current library at 507 S. Canyon Blvd. in John Day.

Foundation President Megan Brandsma said, although the new library will be bigger, it’s designed to be energy efficient and ADA compliant, and the staffing level will remain the same.

“It will bring more opportunities for people and a variety of ways to deliver information,” Brandsma said.

Besides a larger space to hold books with wider aisles, plans include dedicated spaces for children, teens and adults and a wing with more computers.

A multipurpose room for conferences, author presentations, Lego nights, art classes and other meetings can be closed off from the rest of the library, allowing for the space to be open after library hours.

“The opportunities are endless,” Armichardy said.

She said two weeks ago they were awarded a technical assistance grant from the Ford Family Foundation to hire a capital campaign consultant.

“The key thing is we own this property, we have the professional architecture designs done, so we’re just waiting for the cash,” she said. “There are lots of volunteer opportunities, and anyone who wants to help with our campaign can reach out to us.”

For more information, visit gclibraryfoundation.org.

Angel Carpenter is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. She can be contacted at angel@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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