Small libraries like ours survive on the generosity and support of the community. We rely on our patrons and friends to support us through financial contributions, volunteer work, and by joining our Friends program.
While the Somesville Library Association gratefully receives support from the Town of Mount Desert, the majority of our operational and programming funds must be raised. We hold two major fund-raising efforts each year: our annual Books and Blueberries Sale in August and our Annual Appeal in November.
2019 Town Funding Letter
2019 TOWN OF MOUNT DESERT
SOMESVILLE LIBRARY ASSOCIATION
The past year has been one of growth and accomplishment, encouraged by the generous support of the Town of Mount Desert.
Popular opinion has it that libraries must struggle to remain “relevant,” to offer “new modes of information retrieval” and to become “viable broad-band resource centers.” New libraries, in fact, are sometimes opened completely devoid of actual books – instead they exist as electronic media hubs. By contrast, The Somesville Library makes no apologies for being a traditional, small library, equally dedicated to offering an ever-changing physical collection of books, free access to information technology, and robust engagement with our local community. We pride ourselves on acquiring and making available the latest and best books, supporting our patrons' interests, and being the community center for Somesville.
The most important project we have undertaken in the past year is to obtain funding for a water supply. For many years our water source has been the adjacent millpond, a non-potable water supply used in our public restroom. Through grants and local support we raised funds to drill a 150-foot deep well by our front door, which will enable us to provide clean water to our patrons, hikers, bicyclists and the many visitors who stop in each year. We look forward to decreasing our environmental footprint, as well, since we will no longer need to offer free plastic-bottled drinking water! Additionally, we are engaged in an institutional energy audit, which we anticipate will lead to more efficient heating and less energy use through LED light fixtures.
We are pleased to have expanded our successful series of Winter Soup and Bread evenings, which offer generous servings of home-made soups and delicious bread (the former prepared by Trustees, the latter generously provided by Old Dog Baking Company). At evenings throughout the Winter, community members can enjoy a delicious meal and welcome some social interaction. Guests come from all over the island, and from as far away as Franklin!
While our very traditional outlook may make us appear fixed in time, nothing could be further from the truth. Under the leadership of our President, Jennifer Wales, we have strengthened our Board with challenging, young voices, actively increased our community presence and public face, and have established wide-ranging Trustee committees to ensure the institution remains relevant. We continue to welcome the students from The Community School, whose presence has encouraged us to expand our children's book collections to reflect their reading needs. We are proud of our vital little Library, and we are determined to remain an important resource center for visitors and readers of all ages.
Finally, I offer my sincere thanks to our Board and volunteers, who are strategically planning for our next 125 years of service.
Thomas V. Lange, Librarian
Each November, we send out an Annual Appeal to our patrons, supporters and local residents, and rely on the generosity of our visitors to help us continue our good works. We are happy to accept any donation throughout the year, and as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, acknowledge gifts in writing.
Dear Friends of the Somesville Library,
The volunteers, staff and trustees of the Somesville Library are working to find new and creative ways to continue serving and supporting others during the turbulent times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here on Mount Desert Island we are fortunate to be surrounded by great beauty and kind neighbors. One life-long resident recently commented, “Nobody on this island ever needs to be hungry, just a word and food and care are provided.”
As a library that has been serving the people of Mount Desert Island for 124 years, we also recognize the importance of the nourishment that comes from literature and community-gathering events, both core missions of our library.
The Library was forced to close its doors in March and only reopened in early July with new operating guidelines. Just in the past two weeks two young students, desperate to escape the pressures of New York City, were thrilled to spend more than an hour browsing our collections;
a group of plein-air painters were drawn to our lovely grounds overlooking the mill pond; and an appreciative individual was
delighted to find space in our Meeting Room to conduct his globe-spanning medical Zoom meeting.
While we’re excited again to provide wide-ranging books for our patrons and visitors, other events and activities that are so central to our mission and financial sustainability cannot take place for the foreseeable future. Most importantly, we have been forced to cancel our largest fundraiser, our Books & Blueberry sale, which will severely impact our annual budget and result in a significant shortfall.
As you know, the Somesville Library, in the heart of Mount Desert Island, is an iconic part of the island landscape, one which we all hope to preserve for generations to come. Your past support has been critical to that vision, and we thank you. Now more than ever we seek your help to maintain our special library, through the generosity of your annual contribution. If you are able to increase your gift, please do so, but remain assured that your donation of any amount will provide vitally needed support in these challenging times.
We wish you and your family good health and safety in the months ahead and thank you so much for your kind consideration.
The Trustees of the Somesville Library