Continuing last month’s discussion of the value of services you receive from the library, this time round we’d like to discuss the efforts we make throughout the year to enhance the programs and opportunities we present to you. We consider these to be value-added services that come by taking advantage of outside opportunities and partnered fundraising.
By Creed Kidd, Library Director
Primary in this effort is Friends of the Red Feather Lakes Community Library, this year in the capable hands of President Sandy Lagow who is working with a dedicated board of directors and a 100 rank-and-file members. You can see their handiwork in every aspect of library service. For example, a notable percentage of the materials purchased throughout the year is by money raised by Friends funding activities. We’re able to offer better — and more substantial programming — from the annual Summer Reading Program for all ages through such activities as the Red Feather Read by means of the financial assistance of the Friends.
Further, our ability to provide inter-library loan services is assisted by the Friends in covering the costs of the courier service that ferries books to and from the library through Colorado. Also, your ability to connect with a reference librarian at major institutions throughout the state for in-depth help (the AskColorado service) from your Red Feather library or at home is funded here by our Friends organization.
Of course, there’s plenty more Friends-provided services, from shelving and display units to the computers used to do the day-to-day operational work within the library — all purchased with Friends-raised money. A summary of Friends-provided services, activities, equipment and goods provided the library through the past several years alone, would greatly exceed the length of this and several similar columns. Suffice it to say we couldn’t do it nearly as well without them.
Library fundraising can be the icing on the cake — making ordinary or good programs and services great — but it has its place and limitations. As it’s unlikely that most people rely on a personal fundraising book sale to pay reoccurring costs, such as auto insurance or the electric bill, so the library needs stable income to maintain continuity and reliability of service in order and allow library members to take for granted the that the library will be open next month — or next year.
This entails sufficient reliable funding to be able to continue services in the event that fundraising is flat, a book sale is under-patronized or the Wild West Relay is canceled.
Next month, we’ll look at grants as a means of enhancing library services.