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November 08, 2023

Grey Highlands Public Library reveals enhancements to Walter Harris Memorial Library

Jennifer Murley and Jeff Rosenburg

On Tuesday, November 7, the Markdale Walter Harris Memorial Library re-opened with a new look, following a two-week closure.

“We’re excited to welcome the community back into our Markdale branch, and to reveal some well overdue enhancements,” says CEO/Chief Librarian Jennifer Murley. “The Library secured $30,000 in funding from the Municipality to replace the flooring in the main area, and we’ve been lucky to have strong support from the Friends of the Walter Harris Memorial Library, who donated funding to assist with minor painting.”

Markdale Library before and after

The Walter Harris Memorial Library opened in 2001, thanks to significant fundraising on behalf of staff and the community, and is the busiest branch of the Grey Highlands Public Library. After roughly 25 years, the space was in dire need of upgrades and will see future improvements in 2024, as part of the Library’s new 2023-2026 Strategic Plan.

Digital Services/Branch Manager Jeff Rosenburg was a key player in overseeing the renovation. “We can’t thank the staff, their families, community volunteers, and local businesses for their help in making this happen. As a small team of about 15 individuals, we moved over 14,000 books and revealed a new layout in two weeks,” says Rosenburg.

Markdale Library before and after

The renovation introduces a new children’s area, and expanded public spaces for reading, studying, and collaboration. Further enhancements are in progress, and the Library is researching additional funding opportunities to grow and modernize the space.

“Our vision is to be the place to inspire, explore, discover, and create, and this renovation is the first step of many in achieving that goal. Within the next year, the community can look forward to further enhancements to our branches, including new technology and a makerspace,” boasts Murley.

Markdale Library before and after

The Grey Highlands Public Library is a three-branch system, with libraries in Flesherton, Markdale, and Kimberley. Its mission is to engage and connect the community through innovative programs, services, and information.


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