Despite economic hardships that have hit communities throughout southwestern Nova Scotia, public support for libraries remains strong, says Western Counties Regional Library director Erin Comeau. She says population declines and the economic downturn are both creating challenges for the library, making fundraising even more important for library operations.
Erin Comeau, regional director of Western Counties Regional Library, accepts one of a pile of newly adopted books that public relations manager Ian White is juggling in his arms. Belle Hatfield photo
The regional library ended its biennial Adopt-a-Book campaign last week nearly 50 percent above the goal of 1,000 books. Across the system’s 10 branches, 1,434 new books are now circulating as a result of donations from individuals, community organizations and corporate sponsors, who contributed $34,151.26 during the three-month campaign.
“The bottom line is expenses keep going up … that tends to bite into the book budget and that’s where we really need the help,” said public relations manager Ian White.
The Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Library in Yarmouth is the largest library in the system, so it is perhaps not surprising that it accounted for 521 adoptions. But White says the support goes right across the system.
“It is just humbling to see how generous people are.” Ian White
He points to a group of students in Westport who raised enough through their own fundraising efforts to adopt four books.
“It is just humbling to see how generous people are,” he said.
In addition to donations for books, the library
The campaign, which is sponsored by CJLS radio, has now been running since the 1990s and Comeau says patrons have come to anticipate the biennial event.
“It works really well,” she says.
“It’s the easiest place to connect with people in terms of fundraising. It is a great gift and it just keeps on giving,” he said.