JAMESTOWN – Members of the James Prendergast Library Board of Trustees are hoping that the month of December will yield more donations. The board held its monthly meeting Thursday afternoon and discussed several items, including fundraising.
Board treasurer Tom Rankin said that fundraising from individual donors is down $33,000, but he’s hoping that an end-of-year letter appeal will help to close the fundraising gap. He said that he’s also heard from a few donors who’ve given in the past, but did not plan to this year.
The library was the subject of some public scrutiny earlier this year when then-library director Linda Mielke was overseeing the operation. Under Mielke the library saw a shift in its collections policy and also a significant change over in library staff. Mielke was let go by the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library system in early September of this year and Tina Scott is now serving as Executive Director.
Although the library is down in fundraising this year, the board is hoping an end-of-year appeal to past donors will bring in additional funding. Rankin added that although revenue is down this year at the library, expenses are also down this year. He added that if there is any deficit at the end of the year in the library’s bottom line, the board does have money in its endowment fund to close that gap.
In addition to funding, the library board was also updated on the effort to find new board members to replace those who have left the board or who’s terms will be expiring at the end of this year. In its request for board member applications from the public, the library received a total of nine candidates. There will be a total of five vacancies in January, including the seat of current board member Russ Diethrick – who will term-out at the end of the year. Paul Leone also resigned from the board earlier this month, so his seat is also no open for a new board member. The board is expected to finalize its candidates and select the incoming board members during its next meeting on Dec. 22.