Submitted by the Cavendish Fletcher Community Library
There is an old adage that "Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries." It is certainly true.
The Cavendish Fletcher Library, which serves both the town and the school, has over 850 registered patrons who, not only use the libraries book and video collection, but rely on the facility as, in some cases, their only source of internet access.
Furthermore, and as part of its' function in the community, the library provides not only a variety of after school programs, but countless programs geared to adult patrons and preschoolers, all free to participants and supported by Library funds and numerous businesses and individuals. Circulation and patron attendance have been increasing but, unfortunately, monetary donations are not mirroring this increase.
Complicating matters, the income from the endowment on which the library depends for more than half of its annual operating budget is being depleted due to rising costs and the economic downturn of the last year.
Right now, the library is operating at an anticipated annual deficit of about $10,000 and, unless an additional source of revenue is found, painful budget cuts and cuts in services may be necessary. The library is open a staggering 50.5 hours per week during the school year which is more than most other area libraries.
There are a few options to increase funding; one being the sale of the McKenney & Hall books titled The Indian Tribes of North America currently stored at the Vermont Historical Society in Barre. The money from the sale of these books would be invested and the library would only draw the interest earned.
Other options include asking the Town of Cavendish to increase the amount of the appropriation that the town contributes to the operation of the library and finally, although becoming more difficult to find because of the economy, grants and donations.
No matter what happens, a library, we feel, is an investment worth making.