Maplewood Public Library is pursuing new avenues of income to supplement the tax dollars that currently support the Library. Much of the Library’s budget goes toward personnel costs, building upkeep, and lending materials such as books, DVDs, and eBooks. In order to offer more programming for adults, children, and teens and to make much-needed updates to the Library’s building, the Library will be hosting a cornhole fundraiser and is looking for volunteers to start a Friends of the Library group.
A cornhole tournament will be hosted at Ryan Hummert Memorial Park on Friday, September 2nd. In addition to the tournament, there will be live music from The Riverside Wanderers, a free children’s play area, and food provided by St. Louis Kolache. Library Director, Ashley Bryant, hopes that the fundraiser will bring in money while providing a fun, family-friendly event: “We have been building up a Library of things- telescopes, fishing poles, and knitting needles to start with- so we hope to be able to expand this project through fundraising efforts.” For more information and to sign up for the Cornhole Tournament, go to https://forms.gle/5W4Q1dba3xbkQTHeA.
Friends of the Library groups are essential to the fundraising efforts of many libraries across the country. As a 501(c)3 organization, a Friends group can collect tax-deductible donations and apply for outside funding that the library, as a 501(c)6, is not eligible for. Friends groups consist of dedicated volunteers committed to bettering their libraries. Bryant envisions a Friends of the Library group fundraising for building improvements such as new paint and carpet cleaning. However, Friends groups are separate from the Library, so it will be up to the group to determine how funds will be spent. Bryant says, “The Library won’t have any involvement with the creation of the Friends group, and they will be entirely in charge of their own funding. Friends groups work together with Library staff to ensure the needs of the Library are being met. If that’s new paint, great! But it could also be supporting Summer Reading or bringing in a speaker. Friends groups are a huge asset to libraries, and we will welcome any contributions they are able to make to us.” For more information and to volunteer for the Friends of the Library, email Ashley Bryant at [email protected].