The new library hopes to be operational by Spring 2022

By Christianna Marks

TEMPLETON — A local crowd gathered at the Templeton High School Parking Lot on Nov. 9 for a “bring your own shovel” groundbreaking. The reason, Templeton is finally getting a library!

Josh Gibson, a former Boy Scout, who had the original idea to build a Templeton library for his Eagle Scout project, was the first to take a shovel to the ground.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles
Josh Gibson breaks ground for Templeton library along with his sons and TCLA President Melinda Reed. Photos by Christianna Marks.

Alongside him, with shovels in hand, were Templeton Community Library Associations’s President, Melinda Reed, and Gibson’s sons Grant and Colton.

Gibson reminisced about his Boy Scout days, “I started kicking around the idea when I was about 13, so it was about 23 years ago. I started reaching out to the community, doing my research, and just trying to find out how to get this [library] started. [I had] never done it before, obviously, so it’s like ‘what do you do? How do you start a library?”

In 2000 the Templeton Community Library Association was formed, keeping Josh’s dream of a library in Templeton alive.

“It’s inspiring to be here today. To see the effort that’s been carried on by the community. Huge shout out to Melinda Reed, who’s really been excited to keep this thing going the entire time. I’m grateful for her,” Gibson concluded.

The library, a rarity to the county, will be privately funded without county or state funding. Fundraising is still taking place, but a large donation and bequest of Margaret Anderson Radunich’s will, landed the TCLA where they are today.

Ground breaking for Templeton Library. Photos by Christianna Marks.

Reed remembers Margaret fondly. “She began giving money to us [TCLA] in early 2005. She lived in Monterey at the time. She had no children of her own, and she was a widow. So she left us, at the bequest of [her will] nearly a million dollars. But she has given us more than that over the course of all of the time it [the will] accumulated. She saw the vision and wanted us to be able to do it [build the library], and we’re so grateful.”

The library will be a state-of-the-art Modular Building made up of nine pieces. Three will be put together for admin and bathrooms, and the other six will make up the library itself. The building is slated to be delivered on-site the second week of December. It will hopefully be open and fully operational in the early Spring of 2022 with a full staff of trained volunteers.

“We are going to have an open library with all the book stacks and bookcases around the parameter. And we have space for book-club meetings, and private groups that want to gather in the library. As well as computers and WiFi and technology and all the good stuff,” Melinda Reed said. “To see the hole dug in the ground, it’s a reality that’s come to fruition. We’re very happy.”

See you in the stacks soon!