On the 13th of April, the Friends of the Point Roberts Library held its Annual General Meeting at the Community Center. It was a time to meet the new Whatcom County Library System Director, Christine Perkins, who has been chosen to replace Joan Airoldi. She started work today (Monday), so it was particularly nice of her to inaugurate her new job by visiting us out on the far reaches of the System. (I think of us Uranus or Pluto, maybe.)
We welcomed some new and old officers to the Board of Directors (Barb Wayland (President), Louise Cassidy (Treasurer), Heidi Baxter (Secretary), as well as Bill Liaskas (rep from the Support Committee), Judy Ross (rep from the Fundraising Committee), Mark Robbins (rep from the Park and Recreation District), and Kris LoMedico (rep from the Library System). We approved some changes to the By Laws, and learned that we are now not only a Washington State non-profit corporation, but on the edge of becoming a 501(c)(3) organization (charitable tax exemption) under federal law.
Attendees obligingly paid their $5 year membership dues for the upcoming year, and participated in a random draw in which 10 of them received a hand-made "support the new library" bookmark.
Two big features of the day included, first, the Book Sculpture, which will stand in front of the Julius Firehall very soon to illustrate the fundraising progress. This project which is mostly the work of Tor Baxter and Judson Meraw features a large flower-pot-like base upon which will rest a stack of giant books, the stack growing larger as the donated funds grow. Judson brought their initial work to give everyone an idea of what it will look like: The books will be painted, they will be different sizes, the top will be an open book or maybe a monitor, the books themselves may turn, it will be a permanent structure for the library, there will be a rod of some sort behind it that will have numbers on it. They've been working on this for just a couple of months and expect it to be on site by summer. Enormous thanks to them! We live in a community of artists...
The second exhibition was the presentation of a model of the new library itself, built by local high-school student Alex Tersakian. It's not clear where this will find its home in the near future, but it will definitely have a home in the new library when it is built. If there are miniaturists in the community who would like to provide some park benches, get in touch with us! Great work from Alex!
Finally, there was an explication of the fundraising plans for the rest of this year. We currently have a new one-year $100,000 matching grant to encourage ten individual or business donations of $10,000: the donors will become members of The Founders' Circle, and the grant will then match those donations. The owners of the CanAm Petroleum station are the first Founders' Circle Members, Dorothy and Darrel Sutton are the second, Ed Park and Judy Ross, the third. There's still room in the Circle. Give us a call! Our current donation fund total is $140,000.
In May, the Friends will be sponsoring a call to the members of this community to each give $20 to the new library fund. Again, we have a matching fund that will match the first thousand contributions of $20. If a thousand supporters donate $20 each, the donation fund, with the match, will rise by another $40,000 in one month. The new library is something that will belong to all of us and we want everyone to have a chance to participate in that sense of belonging. Some people, some businesses may be able to give more, but everybody who knows and feels the importance of having a community library that is adequate to the needs of the community can give $20, if only this once.
To contribute, take your twenty to Sterling Bank any time in May that it is open. The tellers will record your donation and deposit it in our account. And they'll give you a button too. (button photo on the left.) Every name that is recorded will then be written in the Donation Book record that we are maintaining for this project.
Then, when you've given your $20, please wear your button out in public so all of us can recognize our fellow members in the circle of friends of the New Point Roberts Library. It takes a community to build a library. The friends of the Point Roberts Library demonstrates regularly that they are the core of that Community.
Thanks to everyone who came on Saturday and to everyone who will join in the coming months. The library gives to all of us and it is a privilege to be able to give back to it.
--Judy Ross, for the Friends of the Point Roberts Library