TEWKSBURY — The Friends of the Tewksbury Public Library have been busy recalibrating during the COVID-19 crisis. The Friends’ biggest fundraiser of the year, indoor mini golf in the stacks, was cancelled in March due to the pandemic.
Thanks to the generous support of the many business and family sponsors, the Friends were able to keep their commitments to the library for program funding through the end of the year. However, the Friends are working diligently, albeit remotely, to keep supporting the online programs that residents and patrons have come to rely on by launching a membership drive this month, hoping to encourage some new involvement and raise much needed money to carry into 2021.
Friends of the TPL president Sue Pedersen welcomes new members.
“The Friends provide the funding for museum passes, purchase extras such as snacks, prizes and art supplies, support the children’s summer reading program, and fund thousands of dollars in programming not covered by the town budget,” said Pedersen.
However, the Friends rely on the greater Tewksbury community to participate and join.
“Membership helps us provide the extras that everyone can enjoy,” Pedersen said.
As a special incentive to encourage new lifetime members, a collectible Tewksbury Library ornament will be given to anyone who becomes a lifetime member through the end of 2020. Additionally, any new memberships in 2020 will be good through 2021.
The Friends had derived some revenue from the honor carts in the library. The carts were loaded with donated books which patrons could purchase for a small donation. However, since the library has been closed since mid-March, that resource is unavailable.
The Friends are working on other funding mechanisms such as signing up with Amazon Smile, a program that gives a portion of an Amazon purchase to the Friends when using that site.
As a non-profit, the Friends funded over 900 events attended by over 24,000 patrons in 2019, according to the group’s website. The library’s director, Diane Giarrusso, is grateful.
“The Friends of the Tewksbury Public Library are our cheerleaders and supporters. They work hard to encourage wider membership and to fundraise in support of library events and museum passes. We appreciate them and enjoy working with them to benefit the community,” said Giarrusso.
The Friends of the Library have their own website and Facebook page. Visit them at https://www.friendstplibrary.org/ or at their public Facebook page The Friends of the Tewksbury Public Library.