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:
Our historic little library continues to need your support. Our importance is expressed beautifully by Jill Goldthwait in a recently published column in the The Mount Desert Islander, where she emphasizes the wide-ranging role libraries play in our local community.
Thanks to generous and critical support from you and your neighbors, we are pleased to be able to highlight some of the accomplishments your donations supported in the past year, at the Somesville Library:
1. Plans were put in place for a major infrastructure project of drilling a fresh-water well on the property. This will permit us – for the first time in our 122-year history - to provide our visitors and patrons with both hot water and drinking water.
2. Weekly visits of the children from the local Community School took place, and dozens of newly-acquired books were circulated to these wonderful juvenile and young adult readers.
3. To enlarge and enhance our Books and Blueberries sale, we purchased tents and other equipment.
4. More of our increasingly popular homemade soup and bread community suppers were held – and will continue to be held - during the long winter months.
5. A Library energy audit was arranged with the non-profit Energy Maine, and plans have been made to replace our interior lighting with more energy-efficient fixtures and bulbs.
You can support this important progress with your contribution. Our library relies on you and your neighbors for the nearly 30% of our budget that must be raised from individual donations. As Jill states in her column, a library is "A resource free to all its users, respectful of social, economic and cultural differences, and staffed by people whose work is committed to making your day better..."
Will you play a part in helping us reach our goals for next year?
$25 will add a young adult book or a volume of adult fiction to the collection.
$50 will pay for a community event, like our soup and bread suppers.
$100 will improve and enhance our annual Books and Blueberry fair with more activities and a BBQ.
$250 will beautify and highlight our historic building, purchase flowers for our window boxes, and support summer lawn care and snow shoveling in the winter.
$1000 will make an important contribution towards our ultimate goal of a long-term endowment.
We very much appreciate your support,
The Trustees of the Somesville Library