The Essex Library is a free public library for all three boroughs of Essex. We are an Association Library, organized in 1889. What that means is that the Essex Library is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, not a municipal library. We rely on private donations to provide programs, services and materials for our users. This year the town of Essex will contribute approximately 49% of the Essex Library’s annual operating funds, the remainder is raised through the Annual Operating Fund campaign, support from local business and grants, and income generated from a modest endowment.
Last year, with great reluctance, we had to cut our materials budget to the bone, reduced staff hours and curtailed our hours of operation. Even though we took these drastic measures, we still need your help. Without it, we may be forced to make even deeper cuts that will affect programs, materials and even the number of days we can stay open.
We know you value the Essex Library’s services and programs. During our most recent fiscal year, (which ended on June 30, 2009) our circulation numbers were up by almost 10%, and over 8,000 people attended the 365 programs (an average of one a day) that the Library sponsored. Our patrons also make heavy use of the many other free services we provide including: a professional reference staff; a high speed WiFi connection: a collection of over 30,000 items that is supplemented by our Inter-Library Loan service that provides access to over 3,000,000 other materials; use of our Community Room and 1889 Room; and much, much more. Your donation to the Library is an investment in our ability to continue to provide you and your family with the level of service you have come to expect - and that our staff is proud to offer.
In addition to making your generous membership contribution, there are also other ways you can help the Library. A $15 donation to our “Adopt A Book” program, for example, ensures that you will be the first one to check out a popular fiction or non-fiction book that we would like to add to our collection. If you receive a best-seller as a gift, why not donate it to the Library after you’ve read it? If you have DVDs, audio books or music CDs in good condition that you no longer want, we’d be happy to accept them, too. You can also sponsor one or more items from our Giving Tree, which range in price from $20 to $1,000. Last but not least, we are always looking for volunteers who can give as little as an hour or two of their time per month.
Gifts to the Essex Library are essential to our continued existence. Financial contributions can be made in many ways: through the Annual Fund, by underwriting programs and events, through endowment giving, and with planned giving support including bequests. And to all of our faithful contributors who have supported us through the years, a heartfelt Thank You!