The Sherman Free Library, located in Port Henry, is in the midst of its annual fund raising campaign. Bill Bryant, library finance committee chairman, and Andrea Anesi, library director, are urging people to support the effort.
Moriah residents are being asked to support their local library.
The Sherman Free Library, located at 20 Church St. in Port Henry, is in the midst of its annual fund raising campaign.
“We’re very fortunate,” said Bill Bryant, chairman of the library finance committee. “The people of Moriah and Port Henry have been very supportive of the library. Now, we’re asking for their help once again.”
Library officials hope to raise $5,000 in the capital campaign, which ends Dec. 31. That’s up from the $4,000 raised in 2012.
“We’re like everyone else,” Bryant said. “Our costs keeping going up, but our revenues don’t. To continue to offer the services we now provide we need greater community support.”
The proposed Sherman Free Library budget for 2014 totals $39,000. That includes $15,000 from a trust fund created by the Sherman family when the library was created, $6,000 from the town of Moriah and $3,500 from the village of Port Henry. It also includes about $12,000 from the fund raising campaign, book sales and other fund-raising activities.
As a “free association” library, the Sherman Free Library does not have the ability to tax residents and patrons.
The library board is facing several problems, Bryant explained. The trust is dwindling and will be gone in the next 20 years. Also, facing the state’s 2 percent tax cap, the town and village are unable to increase support of the library.
This year’s fund raising campaign is at $3,100.
“We’d really like to hit the $5,000 mark this year,” Bryant said. “We hope people who haven’t yet contributed, and who can do so, will make a donation.”
Information on the library’s fund raising efforts has been mailed to Moriah and Port Henry residents. Information is also available at the library.
Donations are tax deductible.
“The town of Moriah has a long history of being very generous,” Bryant said. “We hope to continue that tradition.”
The library has also joined forces with the Adirondack Foundation, formerly the Adirondack Community Trust. A charitable trust, the Adirondack Foundation can assist people who wish to donate stocks, bonds, real estate or make bequests.
“As a library partner they can help with tax and privacy issues,” Bryant said.
Staley Rich, library board president, said public support is crucial for the local library.
“We cannot do all that we hope to do without your support and ask you to join us in making this a reality for our community,” Rich said in a fund-raising letter. “It is your generous donations that make possible the repairs and upgrades the library needs, and the programs the library offers.”
The Sherman Free Library welcomes about 600 visitors a month, according to Andrea Anesi, library director. It has seven public computers, free internet access, books, DVDs, books on CDs, E-books and more. It also offers local history resources and serves as a exhibition area for local artists and authors.
“People are often surprised to learn about everything we have available,” Anesi said. “Through the Essex-Clinton-Franklin Library System we have more than 900 E-books available. We can get people almost anything they’re interested in.”
The Sherman Free Library is open Tuesday and Wednesday noon to 4 p.m., Thursday and Friday noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The library opened Jan. 17, 1887. George Riley Sherman, a partner in the Witherbee & Sherman Mining Co., provided $7,700 to build the library and stock it with 3,000 books with the stipulation that the library be free to patrons.
Sherman also provided a $10,000 endowment. In 1901 Jane Sherman added another $10,000 to that endowment. The library has been using that endowment since, although it is shrinking after more than a century.
The library was enlarged in 1907. A Dec. 7, 1907, fire severely damaged the building and it was rebuilt, re-opening Aug. 12, 1908.
“To many of us, the Sherman Free Library is more than books,” Rich said. “It’s more than free WiFi and computers, it’s more than book clubs and monthly programs. It is an icon that has stood the test of time with its paneled walls, graceful architecture and hushed atmosphere.”