Friends Fall 2020 Membership Letter
You are invited to join a special group of families who loyally provide financial support for the Friends of Belmont Public Library (“Friends”). The generosity of The Friends has been extraordinary and continues to make our library and our community great.
During the pandemic, the librarians curated “library care packages” from the Friends’ inventory of books donated for the Annual Book Sale. The feedback was incredible as patrons selected mystery gifts from the Library’s front steps.
Additionally, the Friends supported the Library in pivoting creatively from in-person to online programming, funding Zoom video conferencing for professionally led Tai Chi, workshops on getting organized and cooking classes. To accompany online programs for teens and adults, our innovative and thoughtful librarians developed “take home kits” for Creativebug crafting for adults and high schoolers, Knitting for Teens, and a Pen Pal program (in collaboration with Beech St. Center) for all ages, that included cards, envelopes and stamps. Some of these programs are recorded and archived on the Belmont Library’s YouTube channel for all to enjoy.
Membership dues represent half of the funds needed to support these important library programs. The other half of the funds needed are generated from our book sales. Due to social distancing limitations, the Friends cannot host large book sales or allow patrons to browse the stacks of our Everyday Books. This results in a $20,000 funding gap which negatively impacts library programming and opportunities for community engagement throughout 2020-2021.
Closing the funding gap
We are inviting you to participate in our fundraising challenge:
- Join the Friends of the Belmont Library at the $20 level or higher (however, we are all mindful that not everyone can give at this time).
- Consider inviting a neighbor, family member or friend to join the Friends with you by sharing this webpage with them.
Our library needs you now more than ever; let’s close the $20K gap!
We all benefit from living in a community that loves its library.
Elaine Westermark & Marie Mabardi-Aroyan
Co-Presidents, Friends of the Belmont Public Library
Librarians Share our Patrons’ Responses to Friends-Sponsored Programs
Creativebug Craftalong – “This program gives patrons the opportunity to be creative…while showcasing the library’s free access to Creativebug website with hundreds of arts and crafts tutorials by design experts and artists. Attendees like the camaraderie…the ability to create…and have something fun to do together.”
Pen Pal Program – This letter exchange program had a “phenomenal 144 participant” response. “Our intention was to connect isolated seniors with others in the community, at a time when they are likely experiencing even more isolation. Instead, we had people from age 7 to 89 wanting to reach out and connect with others…”
Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail with Sam Ducharme – “An attendee said of the online author talk, ‘It was really nice to sit in our homes and see a beautiful piece of nature during this pandemic. The personal touch Sam shared with us was heartfelt.’”
Cooking Classes with Chef Meryl MacCormack – “Trends in library programming have shown the desire for innovative programs that are informative and interactive – cooking classes are the perfect way to get the whole family involved. Everyone can learn how to cook!”
The Library’s regular electronic newsletters also feature a section at the end devoted to Friends news. These newsletters are archived on the library’s website.