In 2011, the by taking its community outreach and engagement to a whole new level. With a plethora of added activities and events, as well as the , the library kicked their program into gear and hasn’t let up since, library officials said this week.
During the past fiscal year, the library received more than $135,000 in donations from the and the . The two organizations, though they share a logo and the common goal of supporting library operations, are different in character, methods and even demographics, city librarian Anji Brenner said in a presentation to the Mill Valley City Council this week.
The Friends of the Library group was organized in 1967, just a year after . Since its inception, the organization has raised nearly $1.5 million, much of which has come from selling 50-cent and $1 books at its monthly book sales, which take place on the third Saturday of each month. The next sale is July 21 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
In the last fiscal year, the “Friends” donated just over $89,000 to the library, $57,000 of which supplemented the budget for materials such as books, audio books, DVDs, periodicals and databases, while $8,400 supported programs for adults and $6,000 funded children’s programs.
In addition to providing annual support, the Friends of the Library also address special requests from the city librarian. During the past fiscal year they purchased new folding chairs and donated nearly $13,000 to upgrade the audio-visual capabilities in the Creekside room.
The Mill Valley Library Foundation, which was founded in 1983, reevaluated their mission and direction in 2010, and decided to dedicate themselves to spearheading annual drives to meet current library needs.
The foundation donated just over $46,000 in the last fiscal year. Of that amount, $17,500 helped support the library’s , just under $10,000 was used to purchase E-content and circulate E-readers and $5,000 was used to purchase DVDs.
“It’s wonderful that we have this type of community support and people who will put that much time and attention into supporting the library, it’s a treasure in the people,” said council member Ken Wachtel.
Mayor Garry Lion half-jokingly suggested that having multiple organizations competing to see who can provide the most support for the library is great for the city.
“It’s phenomenal that you have two separate organizations that are supporting to such a great degree, we like to see some healthy competition, sure," he said.