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April 02. 2013 8:54PM

Gilmanton library faces closure, asks for some fundraising help

GILMANTON - The Gilmanton Year-Round Library Association was hoping to get a few fundraising ideas from residents when it met for a brainstorming session last week.

They got more than expected, as more than 60 residents who attended the meeting wanted to help the association keep the privately funded library's doors open past November, when it will run out of money.

Among those present were some with professional skills, such as grant-writing and nonprofit marketing and fundraising, said the association's president, Anne Kirby.

"It was amazing, especially because some of the people who came were people I hadn't ever met," Kirby said. "And they're offering to help us."

The library, one of three in town but the only one running year-round, was opened in 2009. Town officials denied its first official funding request that year. But each year thereafter - until this year - residents at town meetings approved articles for its yearly funding request of $45,000, which helps support its $70,500 annual budget.

At the town's first elections in the SB-2 format last month, voters defeated the library's funding for 2013 by a vote of 322-401.

Many ideas came from the meeting to help the library meet its $6,000-a-month operating budget, Kirby said.

One suggestion that the library will likely adopt, Kirby said, is having more events at the school to attract more people there. The library already has events each week for children and seniors, but it could do more, particularly during summer months when seasonal residents are in town.

Other ideas included a small mass-mailing campaign for financial help, as well as a suggestion to ask concerned residents to volunteer to give the library what they would have paid in taxes toward its operation if its funding article had passed at town elections.

The library association will meet again on the matter next week.

"We have enough money to get us through to November, but beyond that, we don't know," Kirby said.

dseufert@newstote.com


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