Please help our library continue serving our region!
It’s time for our library’s annual appeal. A fundraising letter has arrived for many of you in our service area. I don’t like asking for money; this year it’s more awkward than usual. The pandemic disrupted our services. Many people in our area are hurting financially.
We’ve worked to maintain and improve our online services. We’ve moved through reopening protocols and are back to our regular hours for on-site services. While programming has been scaled back and moved to remote/virtual formats, we still have much to offer. Everyone knows we have books. We also loan DVDs. There are public computers and Wi-Fi, though some computers are out of service due to social distancing. We do faxes and photocopies. Our local history and genealogy services are a source of special pride.
Why are we asking for money, when “everyone knows” that libraries receive government funds?
Government funds (state, county, and local combined) cover only between one-quarter and one-third of our annual expenses. In the coming year, we face the prospect that the state funds may be cut due to the fiscal challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, the purchase of pandemic-related PPE and cleaning supplies, as well as extra staff hours related to maintaining sanitary protocols, have added unexpected expenses.
The state Library Code requires that we raise and spend $5 per capita in local funds, based on the population of the nineteen municipalities in our service area – 19,008 residents. We’re required to raise and spend slightly over $95,000 in local funds annually to qualify for state funding (which has been just over $32,000 in recent years).
We’re constantly striving to improve services. This year we’ve added a program to send books to homebound patrons. (Please help spread the word about this, because I’m sure there are people who would benefit from this service!)
I know not everyone can afford to give. However, if you can, please consider supporting our appeal. Even small gifts add up! We promise to use the money carefully.