We hope this message finds you well. That is no longer a sentence we take for granted. Keeping safe and well have been the watchwords for this year.
We write today instead of mailing our annual newsletter and membership appeal—which is normally our primary fundraising activity, generating almost half our annual budget. But this isn’t a normal year for us and, most important, for you.
For the Friends of the New Salem Public Library, 2020 began with the usual promise of fun programming. We held our first of three Reading Aloud for Grownups. The Sip and Journal workshop was a great success with eleven participants. For Love Your Library month in February, we provided the adult gift basket for the free raffle to library patrons. The Reimagining Our Library renovation project neared completion, including the purchase of new tables and chairs and, thanks to a generous grant from the Trustees of the New Salem Academy, the installation of AV equipment.
We were deep into planning other events. Then March brought the worsening coronavirus crisis and you know what happened. Everything shut down, including our favorite library.
Despite the shutdown, the mission of the Friends has not faltered. We remain committed to enriching the partnership between the library and our community by supporting the library through programming, advocacy, volunteer services, and fundraising.
We purchased a Zoom account for the Friends and the library and jumped into conceiving and hosting a Zoom Candidates Forum for the state rep. race between Susannah Whipps and Will LaRose. It was a huge success shared far and wide by AOTV and district towns. It was, we believe, the only event for voters to see and hear the candidates answer your important questions about the issues we face. And this was 100 percent a Friends initiative. We are very proud of our team in making this happen.
We continued our Museum Pass purchases to support the museums that had to close and to be ready for when they could reopen, which they did during the summer, no doubt to the relief of many of you.
We provided funds for the library to purchase new ebooks that could be available while the library was closed and interlibrary loans suspended.
Even before the pandemic sent us to the Internet, we set up online donations through the Friends’ website. And with Amazon Smile, you can support the Friends at no cost to you. Just select the Friends of the New Salem Public Library as your charity and every time you shop at Amazon (using the smile.amazon.com link), they’ll make a small donation to us. Did we mention it’s at no cost to you?
In the coming months, expect to see renewed programming—online with Zoom as long as we have to. We’ll also be updating our website. You can like us on Facebook to stay updated on new events.
The Friends’ Annual Appeal kicks off this month and is our primary fundraising activity—especially since we cannot host in-person events. Last year we raised more than $2,600.
You are no doubt being inundated with donation requests from your favorite charities—and many new ones sparked by the ongoing crisis. The Friends sincerely hope you will remember us to the extent you are able. You can become a member or renew your membership for just $10, but please consider a donation of $25, $50, or whatever you can give. Donations can be made directly through our website or by mail to Friends of the New Salem Library, P.O. Box 5, New Salem, MA 01355.
We are a 100 percent volunteer-run, 501(c)3 nonprofit. All donations are tax-deductible and help support our small, local library by providing extra resources for new books, DVDs, museum passes, furniture, equipment, and special programs. Your generosity is much appreciated!
Until we can meet again in person, we send our virtual best wishes. We miss you!
Thank you for your continued support.
Warm regards, The Friends of the New Salem Public Library
Board of directors: Betsy Bergantino Lisa Finestone Marny Ashburne Jo Boskind Anna Channing Julie Hubbard George Perides Karen Stevens Anan Zurba