Ellie Swank was winging it when she settled on a fairy-tale floral look for the birdhouse.
“I painted it with a lot of pastels and covered it with various beads,” the Boiling Springs woman said. “I thought it would be something different to look at.”
Swank is one of 30 local artists volunteering their time to decorate birdhouses of different shapes and sizes made by area woodcrafters.
The birdhouses will be unveiled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Amelia Givin Library, 114 N. Baltimore Ave., Mount Holly Springs.
The event Thursday marks the start of a weeklong silent auction where library visitors will be invited to bid on each birdhouse through 6 p.m. April 13.
Library hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. It is closed on Sunday.
Profits from the sale of each birdhouse will go toward the purchase of children’s books for the library. Each birdhouse will be sold to the highest bidder.
“This is a board-driven fundraiser,” Thompson said of the library trustees. “Board member Lin Anderson saw it somewhere else and thought it would be a creative new idea for us.”
Anderson recalled seeing a magazine or newspaper article 15 years ago about a school or library in New England that used decorated birdhouses as a fundraiser.
“It’s a fun and different kind of way of raising money,” said Anderson, the former children’s librarian at Amelia Givin. “We can showcase local talent and spark some interest in the library.”
As of Thursday, 20 of the 30 birdhouses had arrived at the library for display. “Each one is amazing and so uniquely different,” Anderson said. “They are really very cool.”
Anderson first mentioned the idea to the board late last summer. It took time to plan the fundraiser, make the birdhouses and recruit artists from Cumberland and nearby counties.
The woodcrafters included library trustee Gregg Guldenboth and his friends, Thompson said. The artists included Megan Lloyd-Thompson, an illustrator of children’s books.
Styles include a patriotic birdhouse and a birdhouse with a beach theme. Photos are available online at the library website at www.cumberlandcountylibraries.org/AME, which has a link to the Friends of the Amelia Givin Library Facebook page.
“We have gotten some truly amazing birdhouses done by very talented people who took the time to support the library,” Cynthia Thompson said.
One hope is that the bird fundraiser would encourage the public to visit the library, Swank said. She said there are many people who drive or walk past the building without realizing what it has to offer.
At a time when state and federal funding has been cut to libraries, supporters need to turn to the local community to raise money and awareness, Swank said. “This fundraiser is a neat way to do so.”