We begin the New Year with $90,000 in donations and new plans. There's a part of me that thinks, well, maybe it's time to catch our breath for awhile. Except that, there is another $400,000 to raise. This year we will be looking to bring more local businesses into the ranks of active supporters. Sterling Bank, the International Marketplace, the Blue Heron, Auntie Pam’s Country Store, Brewster's, and Neilson’s Building Center have been solid financial supporters throughout the last year. Furthermore, Neilson’s has pledged a $5,000 donation for 2013. Nielson's plans to fulfill its pledge by staging a series of fund-raising events, including their world-famous belt sander races, and supplementing with a direct donation to top off money raised at the events. We will be working with other businesses to expand the membership in the Library Diamond Club for Point Roberts Businesses.
And we will be working to expand the base of individual support. Because of the financial crisis and the resulting very low interest rates, many foundations have cut back on their grant giving, because the money for grants depends on the income from their endowments. Similarly, government agencies, because of the general financial retrenchment, have significantly reduced their commitments to capital grant giving (as opposed to smaller grants to specific programs/project). It is critical in appealing to Foundations and Government Agencies that are still willing to consider capital grant requests to be able to show very broad public support.
Our current support is strong but it is not extremely wide. It is tempting for people, when they see how well the community fundraising has progressed during this first year, to think, “Oh, well, they’re doing great; they don’t me to add to their totals.” But the community needs everybody: everybody who uses the library and everybody who has ever used any library. A public library is one of the most compelling services that a community provides to its residents. If you have one, though, everyone tends to take it for granted. If you do not have one, the loss is enormous for many people and especially for children.
We need to provide this new library with adequate space and features to be a 21st Century library for ourselves and for those who come after us. And we need to repay our debt to those who made sure we have had a library in Point Roberts for the past 65 years. It takes a community to build a library. That is the work of the coming year for all of us.
--Judy Ross, for The Friends of the Point Roberts Library