December 20, 2013 at 6:40 AM
FANWOOD, NJ – The Fanwood Memorial Library has been experiencing a gap between increased demand and decreased government funding. The trustees the Library have launched a fund raising drive in an effort to close this gap.
A mailer has been delivered to each Fanwood household with information for donating online or by mail. Money raised in the drive will be used to shore up two vital areas residents identified as “not adequate” in the library’s spring survey: new books (and other materials) and technology upgrades.
“Response to the library survey was very encouraging,” said Sheldon Ross, president of the library’s board of trustees. “The community recognizes the value of its library, not only as a cultural institution but also as a vital resource for our students and civic organizations.”
Like so many libraries nationally, the Fanwood library has become much more than a place to check out books. It also offers all types of information, access to technology, space for literacy programs, and vibrant programs for all ages. During Hurricane Sandy, it even served as a place to warm up, charge e-devices, and exchange critical community information.
Since 2009, library funding has plummeted more than $40,000. Library Director Dan Weiss reports that during the same period circulation has climbed 22% and patron visits are up 11%. Patrons are asking for more e-books and bestsellers, better computers, faster Internet connectivity, and better meeting spaces. And while less than 2% of each Fanwood household’s property tax assessment goes toward library support, the current tax cap prevents the library from receiving any additional government funds.
Even before residents received the mailers, more than $2,000 has been collected toward the board’s $10,000 goal. Patrons, Friends of the Fanwood Memorial Library, supporters, and 100% of the library trustees have all donated.
Secure online tax-deductible donations to help close the gap can be made at www.fanwoodlibrary.org. Contributions may be made in honor of or in memory of someone. Donations may also be mailed or delivered to the library at 5 Forest Road, Fanwood, NJ 07023.