I love public libraries so much that I’m a member of two systems—Gwinnett County and Hall County—and serve on the fundraising arm for the latter. I’m a firm believer in keeping library services free to all.
Today, libraries across our nation are asking for your donations to supplement what the government provides. According to an email I received from the Gwinnett County Public Library Foundation, the county gives its library system roughly $20 per resident annually to operate 15 branches. That amount may seem fair, but it doesn’t cover all the programs and services the library system delivers to its communities. I’m sure that statistic is similar across the nation.
Private funding helps provide extras and upgrades. For instance, the Hall County Library system is renovating its main branch and adding a 9,000 sq. ft. extension. It will take a year to complete, costing $4 million. The majority of this will be funded by a special option sales tax and a state construction grant. Generous patrons will cover extra expenses.
That’s why, book lovers, we need to reach deep into our pockets and help out our local branches so everyone will continue to have free access to updated facilities, the latest books in a variety of formats, state-of-the-art technology and well-maintained research material.
The Seattle Public Library Foundation came up with a great idea to promote this cause by creating Library Giving Day. Partnering with Carl Bloom Associates, the Foundation established this one-day fundraising event to encourage people to donate to their community’s library system. April 10, 2019 marks the initial day of what founders hope becomes a growing annual campaign.
For more information on today’s fundraiser and to access a list of participating libraries, check out the website of the first-ever Library Giving Day. If you don’t see your local library listed, please contact your favorite librarian with the news about the promotional support offered by this campaign. Sometimes donations will be matched by generous donors.