By Judy Ross
September has been a big month for us at library fundraising central. Many donations came in around the big book sale, the sum of which has put us over the $500,000 mark.
Back at the beginning, we thought that was our target, but then we read the 2011 Feasibility Study more carefully and discovered that the initial estimate of costs for remodeling the library was actually $538,000. I suspect that in 2011, it seemed such an enormous sum of money that “$500,000” seemed like enough to think about: a nice round number, and easy to remember.
In any case, here we are at $501,000. A big piece of news was that our Founders’ Circle gained a new, eighth member, a community resident who had previously donated $5,000 added a second $5,000, making him a founder and triggering a matching $5,000.
At present, he is an anonymous donor, but his name will appear with the other seven founders when the library is completed and engraved items appear to record this level of generosity.
Donations from new $1,000 pledges have reached a total of $36,000, $18,000 of which has already been paid. We continue to speak one-on-one with folks who might be able to contribute $1,000 or more, as well as folks who can contribute less. But this needs to be finished by the end of the year, so we really need everyone to think about how they can help to add the final $38,000. Is $50 or $100 each month for the next three months a possibility? Whatever you can do, we are grateful; whatever you can do, you will know you have helped your community.
Here is and has been my bottom line from the beginning of my fundraising involvement four years ago: a library is vital to community infrastructure and to the creation of community, especially in a small place like Point Roberts.
It is one of the few places we have where people are all equal members: everyone is welcome at the library, and as long as you can manage to get your checked out books/cd’s/videos/etc. back in time, it is free for everyone. There is no premier membership for those who can pay more, no second-class membership for those who cannot.
It is unfortunate that we have to raise the money privately, but we live in a county where those are the rules: each community must provide its own library building/space if it wants a library. Then the county (through the Whatcom County Library System) provides all the goods and people that turn it into a working library.
We and those who come after us need a larger library with adequate space to use our new digital technology. It’s a task that requires everyone’s help. Please do help with this final chapter.
To donate, made your check payable to FOPRL. Drop it off at the library or mail to FOPRL, P.O. Box 970, Point Roberts, 98281.