Hannibal Free Public Library ‘Raise the Roof’ campaign receives $25,000 donation


From left David Licking, EDF; Keven Knickerbocker, library board president; Justin Whalin, Blattner Energy site manager; Cody Dierks, EDF Renewables; Stephanie Miller, EDF Renewables; Caitlin Greathouse, director of Hannibal Free Public Libary. Megan Duncan

HANNIBAL, Mo. – The Hannibal Free Public Library received a $25,000 combined donation for their “Raise the Roof” campaign from EDF Renewables and Blattners Energy. 

Caitlin Greathouse, library director, accepted the checks while dabbing at the tears in her eyes. 

“It’s like we won the lottery over here,” she said. “The generosity that EDF Renewables and Blattner have shown really brings a tear to your eye because there is goodness out there, and the holiday season one one is no better time to showcase it.”

The library announced the “Raise the Roof” Campaign last July to raise $200,000 to purchase a new roof, after the $25,000, the funds raised so far reached $50,000. Greathouse said time is of the essence for the 37-year old roof, especially the skylight which has long exceeded its expected life span.

Although she doesn’t believe the skylight will shatter anytime soon, and it is multi paneled, which means if one panel were to shatter, it would not cause the entire window to break. 

But Greathouse said the number of cracks in the skylight continue to grow as it endures weather damage. They are currently waiting on an insurance payment for recent cracks caused by hail that they hope will cover the cost of a new skylight.

“The project needs to move further along much sooner than what we anticipated with the new cracks from the hail damage on our skylight going from the bottom to the top of some of our window veins,” Greathouse said. 

Greathouse tells everyone if they see her on the library roof with a blue tarp to just honk and wave. The library employees have a perfected system of setting out buckets and covering equipment and shelves when it rains. 

The tiles on the upstairs ceiling continue to show water stains despite Greathouse’s efforts to replace them. She finally quit replacing them.

Stephanie Miller, community engagement for EDF Renewables, said community engagement is important to the company.

“We want to be good stewards of the community, and we look for things like the library that are foundational to the community. We found out about the “Raise the Roof” campaign so we put aside some funds,” Miller said.

Greathouse said they will continue to raise funds until they reach their goal, and they have $150,000 more to go. 

“The importance of the funds is keeping a roof on the library that’s been here for 123 years. I don’t think it gets more important than that,” she said. “I want to make sure the library is around for another 123 years.”

Greathouse said the Hannibal community continues to come through for the library, and she is grateful for the generosity. “We are just so appreciative. Hannibal has opened its hearts and wallets and has donated to us numerous times. They have just come together.”

Blattners also gave $2,500 to pay for non-resident library cards and EDF matched that. This means more than 80 non-residents of Hannibal can receive an annual membership for free on a first-come first-serve basis starting in January.

The library also announced that annual membership fees for non-residents of Hannibal will be $60 starting in January. 

To find out more about donating to the Raise the Roof Campaign or learn how to help raise money for it, contact the Hannibal Public Library at 573-221-0222 or email them at ref@hannibal.lib.mo.us.

Learn more about the Raise the Roof Campaign and see pictures of roof damage here.

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