The following is a letter from David Mosley, Development Coordinator for Topsham Public Library.
Can you believe it? It’s that time of year again. Dreary, post-fall/pre-winter weather with seemingly “shorter” days with less daylight and a colder climate. However, I always find myself a little excited about the Thanksgiving holiday, when good food and time with family and special friends come together. It brings to mind nesting at home, reading a good book and drinking something warm with my pets snuggling with me on the couch. This, in turn, makes me think about Topsham Public Library and how additions to the collection is funded. Especially now that I am, as the new Development Coordinator, charged with finding funds to make this happen!
Most likely you have, or will shortly, receive the annual letter from our volunteer Topsham Public Library Board asking for your financial help so we may continue operating our library with its current level of services. Sometimes people do not realize the library is responsible for raising 15% of its funding to augment monies provided by Topsham taxpayers. You may ask yourself, since I already contribute as a taxpayer, how can they ask for more? We ask because there is real need. Our 15% share of our budget this year is almost $130,000. We raise money many ways including grants, business support and from the Friends of Topsham Public Library. Even after this generous support, our remaining need and goal for this fiscal year is still $90,000!
Recently I finished one of my favorite books of 2018, The Library Book, by Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief. Ostensibly, it discloses the tragic event where the Central Library of Los Angeles burns on April 29, 1986. As with most other books by Orlean, it is a more complex account. She brings readers along from the beginnings of the LA Library through today where it has become one of the largest library systems in the world. Not much in common with Topsham Public Library you may think, but you would be incorrect. Like all public libraries, LA’s is much more than a repository of books. Yes, it has a large and diverse collection managed by professional staff but it is also a place where people gather for community, education, job searches, tax preparation, art shows, crafts, general information, all this while being part of the greater social safety net. Our collection may offer a small slice of what LA’s does, but the Topsham Public Library staff of professionals provide all these services too, but only with your financial support.
I have had the pleasure of working at the circulation desk for the three years prior to my new role here at Topsham Public Library. I have had the pleasure of getting to know many of you in the community and I have always been struck, and thankful for, your support. I am sure you will agree that Topsham Public Library is a true community jewel. As we begin celebrating our 15th anniversary in our “new” building, and our board, staff and residents begin looking at what the next 15 years may bring, the enthusiasm makes my new role even more exciting. Please join me in financially supporting a place we in Topsham cannot do without—our beloved public library!