I pay a Library tax each year. Why does the New Rochelle Public Library need my support?
Over the last 25 years, funds raised by the Foundation have been responsible for most of the major capital improvements at the Library. Your tax dollars are the backbone of the Library’s day-to-day operating budget but the Foundation steps in to fund the rest. Tax dollars fund all the basics: Library staffing, electricity, heat, internet fees, general maintenance, book purchases and some programming. While tax dollars keep the doors open and the lights on they do not fund major improvements to the Library — improvements that enhance the Library’s appearance, resources and programming. That is where the Foundation comes in. For details see The Foundation in Action.
What does the Foundation fund?
Since 1994, when the Foundation was created, Foundation fundraising has been responsible for most of the major physical improvements to the Library: We have revamped the entire second floor, helped fund an improved Children’s Room, funded major improvements to the adult circulation room, renovated the main lobby, created the Bliss Music Center and the Handelman Business Opportunity Center and fully renovated and equipped the Ossie Davis Theater. In addition, the Foundation has funded significant technological upgrades that keep our library current, up-to-date and better able to serve the community. For details see The Foundation in Action.
Aren’t libraries becoming obsolete?
Not at all. Statistics show that today’s libraries are busier than ever. Demand for services and in-person visits to our library have skyrocketed and public funding cannot keep pace. Our Library is no longer just a repository for books. It’s so much more. It’s a community center alive with activity from morning until night. Our city’s economically and ethnically diverse population depends on the Library’s personnel and technology to provide them with the tools to follow their dreams:
- Our Children’s Room is the busiest room in the Library
- Teenagers who don’t have access to computers or online information at home, fill every floor after school and on weekends
- We serve more middle and high school students on a daily basis than at any other library in the County.
- We have more programming than any other library in the County.
- Our auditorium and gallery are booked solid year-round with over 2,100 cultural programs annually
- Job seekers of all ages get help with resumes and job searches at the Handelman Business Opportunity Center
- Hundreds of new community members learn English and prepare for citizenship through our free ESL classes
- Seniors are helped to file their taxes and benefit from many social service programs available at the Library.
Why should I make a donation, I don’t ever use the Library?
Your support of the Library is a statement of the values you hold dear as a member of our community. Frankly, there is no better way to give back to your community. We have no professional staff and almost no overhead so every dollar you give, goes to pay for vitally needed Library upgrades. In addition, stepping in as a matching funder, the Foundation has been able to leverage its support to bring in an additional $418,000 dollars in New York State grants over the past 5 years
Doesn’t everyone have a computer at home in this day and age?
Great question, and it really gets to the heart of why we need your support. The reality is that there is a dangerous gap between those who have access to sophisticated computer technology and all others. The “all others” are poor people, recent immigrants and the elderly. The improvements we fund at the library are vital resources needed to level the playing field for those at a distinct disadvantage for future success.
I can only give a small amount. How can that make a difference at the Library?
The truth is every dollar makes a difference. Plus the level of community support is often the key factor that determines the quality of a community’s Public Library. That means that your support is essential to our success. It is not just the money. We need the enthusiastic support of friends like you to donate and encourage your neighbors to support us as well. Your participation also shows our government officials that libraries are a major concern of their constituents. This helps strengthen our voice when we go to Albany to advocate for our Library.
What is the difference between the Foundation, the Friends, and the Board of Trustees?
The Library Board of Trustees are community residents who are elected to the Board in a yearly election at the same time that the Library budget is proposed. They are the official body that acts on the library’s behalf in all negotiations, in proposing and overseeing the library’s annual operating budget and in setting policy and procedures.
The NRPL Foundation is the main fundraising arm of the library. We work in conjunction with the Board of Trustees and Library Director to identify needs and then develop resources and secure private funds for the enhancement of the library facility and to fund special programming.
The Friends of the New Rochelle Public Library supports child and adult programming by raising money through the sale of donated books and media.