After donating almost $200,000 over his lifetime, a Woking farmer has bequeathed another $800,000 and land to the Grande Prairie Public Library. William Janssen was a long-time patron of the library before he passed away in 2010. Director Maureen Curry says up until this point his donations had remained anonymous.
“When we received word that we were named in his will for this very generous bequest it was just a wonderful surprise and we were able to appreciate the full extent of his generosity. Certainly the total value of his donations over the years was more than a million dollars.”
The library has since named its Discovery Room after Janssen, as he had asked that the funds go towards reading materials, software and electronic items. Curry explains that the Discovery Room is a high-tech multi-purpose space, making it a surprisingly perfect fit for Janssen’s legacy.
“He was very aware of the importance of technology and how the world was changing. He was very up to date and really wanted for young people to have the opportunity to access information in all formats, not only in paper.”
The library has also bought Lego robot kits it couldn’t otherwise afford. Janssen reportedly also made bequests to several other local organizations like the Grande Prairie Regional College.