2013-12-12 / Local & State

Library’s Tree Of Giving A Hit

Officials hope donations will help offset 2014 shor tfall
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Fulton County Library Director Jamie Brambley, left, and volunteer Kathy Lake put the final touches on the library’s annual “Tree of Giving” last Wednesday morning. Fulton County Library Director Jamie Brambley, left, and volunteer Kathy Lake put the final touches on the library’s annual “Tree of Giving” last Wednesday morning. NEWS EDITOR

Draped with sparkling lights and multi-colored ornaments, the fifth annual “Tree of Giving” continues to be a popular means for local residents and patrons to donate a little or a even a lot to the Fulton County Library that is projected to start out the new year in the red.

Donated again this year by faithful library supporters Ray Messick and Lee Armstrong of Little Scrub Ridge Farm, this year’s live evergreen looms more than 6 feet tall and boasts familiar sponsorship mittens and stars. Each mitten and star showcases an item routinely used by office staff or an item frequently found on the shelves for use by the library’s 9,900 patrons as well as a price.

By sponsoring one of the items that range in price from just $2.50 for a roll of packing tape to $400 for one month’s rent at the Hustontown Library, residents will find themselves on “Santa’s Library Helper List.” To recognize the generosity of area residents, the list of donors will be hung this holiday season near the “Tree of Giving” located in the newspaper/magazine reading area on the first floor of the North First Street, Mc- Connellsburg, facility.

Among the additional 33 items available for sponsorship at the library are music CDs, hardcover children’s books, large-print books, young adult paperbacks, DVDs, office supplies and even paper towels, toilet paper and bathroom towels.

According to library Director Jamie Brambley, the “Tree of Giving” as well as the sponsorship mittens and stars continue to be a hit with local residents, and their generous donations come at tough time of the year that involves budget projections, funding announcements and worry over making ends meet.

In recent months, Brambley and members of the library board of directors calculated they were slated to begin the new year in the red with a budget shortfall of $35,000. They remain hopeful that the “Tree of Giving” as well as several hundred appeal letters recently mailed to loyal supporters will help shorten the gap between expenditures and revenue.

On a positive note, Brambley was happy to announce the library is again tentatively slated an annual allotment from Fulton County commissioners Rodney McCray, Craig Cutchall and Irvin Dasher that will be included in the 2014 budget. Brambley and the board learned when the county budget went on display late last month that its request for $10,000 was tentatively approved.

“It’s heartening to know the community has and continues to support the library,” said Brambley. “ ... Our budget is at a bare-bones minimum covering rent, utilities, insurance, staffing and, of course, books. We cannot make any more reductions in the purchase of books and related materials as we are required to spend a certain dollar amount annually in this area.”

All donations made to the library through the “Tree of Giving” are tax deductible. Anonymous donations can be given, and donations can also be made on behalf of a loved one or in honor of a family member or friend.

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