JAMESTOWN – Officials at the James Prendergast Library in Jamestown say fundraising for this year is significantly lower compared to last year. During the October board meeting of the library’s board of trustees, board treasurer Tom Rankin told board members that fundraising for 2012 through Oct. 18 was at just over $81,600. That’s about 30 percent lower than where the library was at the same date for 2011 and also just over half of the $155,000 in total fundraising the library had budgeted for this year.
The largest decrease in fundraising comes from individual donors, which is down about $22,000 compared to last year. In 2011, the library had received nearly $65,000 in donations by October 18. This year, that amount is just under $43,000 over the same time period.
The library’s annual Run for Literacy fundraiser also saw a significant decrease in participation. The event raised $958 this year. Last year it brought in eight ties that amount – for a total of $7,713.
A contributing factor for the decrease in fundraising includes a number of concerned residents who have gone on record saying they would not give to the library this year. The primary reason given was their concern with the direction the library was heading in under library Executive Director Linda Mielke – who served in that position from November 2011 to August 2012. She was let go at the beginning of September by the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System. Former Assistant Director Tina Scott is now serving as acting executive director for both the Prendergast and the library system.
The Run for Literacy – which had previously taken place in the late spring – was held this year in early October. That change in date may have also played a role in why participation for that event was down.
Library officials are asking the public to step up and help it reach its fundraising goal for 2012. Anyone wishing to donate can do so by stopping by the library or going online to Prendergastlibrary.org.