Billings Library director congratulates community on successful fundraising sale

To the Expositor:

As a member of the Board of Directors of the Billings Library, I would like to thank everyone who patronized and participated in our annual book and bake sale fundraiser on July 11. Due to the community’s generosity, we were able to raise $3,175. We desperately need these contributions to keep our small but dynamic library operating.

We at the Billings Library are in a funding crisis. The money raised at the book and bake sale was even more than we had budgeted for, but even so, it’s nowhere near the amount we require. Due to government cutbacks, we have lost over $6,000 in grants this year. That’s roughly 20 percent of our total budget. Even if we cut back our book purchases drastically, we will have barely enough funds to operate to the end of 2012. We have very few areas where we can cut back our expenses. If we fail to find new funding sources, we will probably be forced to close by January.

Billings Council has been very generous and supportive of our cause. We realize that every level of government is in a funding crisis; no less so in Billings, and we realize that revenues are stretched to the limit as essential spending must take priority. We are working with the municipality to ensure that we will be able to keep our doors open come 2013, within the constraints of their and our budget.

The Library Board and the Municipality of Billings can’t possibly do this alone. The Board therefore solicits any and all fundraising ideas and donations from the public. We are seeking other government grants to replace those that have expired, but we can no longer count on senior levels of government in these trying times, and any grants that emerge are unlikely to be available until some time next year. By then it may be too late for us.

Very truly yours,

Barry Epstein