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Gilmanton library group raises enough money to stay open until February

Union Leader Correspondent

July 09. 2013 9:19PM

GILMANTON — The Gilmanton Year-Round Library Association has raised enough money to keep its doors open, at least until February, thanks to several fundraising events and numerous small and large private contributions from residents.

“The support has been very strong, and I’m very optimistic about the future,” said Anne Kirby, the association’s president.

The privately owned library, one of three libraries in town, but the only one running year-round, was opened in 2009. The library sought financial support from the voters at Town Meeting that year but voters said no.

Each year after — until this year — residents at town meetings approved articles for its yearly funding request of $45,000, which supports its yearly $70,500 budget.

After the last vote in March, the library association said it only had enough funds to get through November. But the association has been meeting since then to find new sources of funding, and has had a strong response from town residents, Kirby said.

As of this week, about $23,000 of the $45,000 needed to keep the library running was raised, which is enough to keep it going through February, she said.

Of the money raised, $10,000 came from the “400 Club,” an effort started by some residents asking 400 people to donate $100. So far, 100 people have made the donation, she said.

A few thousand dollars were generated through a request from the committee to residents who support the library, asking that they donate what they would have paid in taxes if the library funding warrant article had passed in March. That amounted to about $9 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation, and numerous residents have made that donation, she said.

More fundraising efforts are being planned, she said.

Despite the strong private support, Kirby said the association will be forced to go back to voters again next March to ask for financial support.

“Even if we do make it to the $45,000 with private donations, it’s hard to sustain that kind of funding, and you can’t do any long-range planning because you don’t know if the money will be there,” she said.

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