Each month or each season brings a new challenge in the fundraising for the library world. The next two months are the months of Great Thanksgiving(s). We'll be eating a lot, of course, which is why we are particularly grateful to the International Market for agreeing to give us a percentage of their sales these next two months. But this will work for the library only if you remember to drop your receipts in the boxes that are located at each of the entrance/exit doors.
Ed and I went there this morning to get posters up and posters attached to the boxes and the boxes arranged and the doorways--they're sitting atop the large trash cans there. Then, we hung around for awhile to see how it was going to work. One of the problems, of course, is that a lot of the customers are Canadians who are returning promptly across the border and need their receipts for Canadian customs. Another problem is that Canadian customers are unlikely to be reading this blog or the All Point Bulletin or Point-Interface or the Friends of the Library's Facebook page, and thus don't know anything about this event, although they may know something about our plans for a new library from this past summer's events.
We've got a good solution to the first problem: If people need their receipts for any reason, ASK THE CHECKER TO GIVE YOU A DUPLICATE. They're happy to oblige and then you can deposit a receipt and still have a receipt.
The second problem is less easy to solve. We stayed around for about an hour and talked to people as they were leaving, trying to explain what this project is all about. People are generous, willing to hear (although many are at first a little hesitant because they think we may be asking for a donation). But, they are patient, as well, and of the 40 or so people we talked to, virtually all either gave us their receipts for the box or said they would ask for a duplicate next time and deposit that receipt.
We'll be at the market this Thursday, Friday, Saturday, off and on, to help people understand how this works. And again next week if we need to. But, it helps if you explain it to your friends, Canadians or U.S., just in case we're not there when they get to the market.
Judy Ross, for The Friends of the Point Roberts Library