WESTFIELD, NJ — Did you spend the weekend shopping for holiday gifts? The Westfield Memorial Library Foundation wants to wrap them for you. Bring your ready-to-wrap presents to the library on Dec. 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and, for a small donation, they will do the wrapping for you.

A second wrapping event, with treats and crafts for kids, will take place on Dec. 19 from 11 a.m.  to 2 p.m. All proceeds will be used to improve to the library building, programs and services. 

The wrapping events are part of a new initiative by the foundation’s board.

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“We want to start small and use this year's events as a way to raise some money, but also let the community know we are here and working hard to help the library,” board member Becca Reissman said. “We don't have a monetary goal in mind, but we do want to bring awareness to some of the issues that face the library and public libraries everywhere.”

Public libraries are funded through municipal funding and state aid, but that amount can change from year to year, Reissman explained. She said that funding to Westfield’s library has been cut significantly in recent years.

“In order to make up those funds, the library relies on organizations like the Friends and the Foundation to support the annual budget, long-term improvements and program and technology enhancements, she said. “We, in turn, rely on donations from the public. Previously we've done direct mail fundraisers, but this year we felt smaller fundraisers that brought awareness to the library would serve a bigger purpose.”

As on ongoing fundraiser, bookplates will be soon be available for purchase at the children’s desk. Kids will be able to choose a book and sign their name to the bookplate of their choice. Designed by local artist Linnea Rhodes, each of these bookplates represents a season, because, according to the foundation’s board, “it’s always the season for reading.” 

“I love taking my kids to the library and know they will be so excited to pick out a favorite for their bookplates,” Reissman said. 

Follow the Memorial Library Foundation on Facebook for updates on fundraising efforts and the services they yield, including a new jazz series set to begin in February.