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Director Submits Annual Report Re Friends of Bellingham Public Library

Feb 25, 2021 06:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson
The year 2020 was a unique one for not only the library, but the entire world.  The global COVID-19 pandemic affected all, the library included. The year began as normal with library services and programs running as usual.  By mid-March that all changed, and the library was shut down until we opened for curbside in June, and then opened the doors on a limited basis in August.  Unfortunately, in December, because of rising cases, we had to resume curbside service. In May, the Friends began meeting on Zoom.
The Friends of the Library were instrumental in assisting the library in reopening by funding a self-checkout station for patrons, a fogging air-sanitizing system and personalized aprons with pockets for staff to wear to avoid sharing common office supplies.  In addition, starting in August the Friends agreed to pay $500 per month to the library gift fund to assist the library in paying for the public copier, WiFi hotspots and programming supplies.
In April, with funding from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the Library published a book to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the town.  It was sold at the library and online, and profits from the sale of the book paid for the purchase of books for the book club.  Since September 30th all profits have been retained by the Friends.
The year was not a good one for the Friends’ Museum Pass Program because many of the museums and attractions were closed.  Many still are.  Even for those that were open, our passes had minimal use.  In the fall, as the COVID-19 numbers began rising again, we made the decision not to purchase additional passes until they will be used.
The Friends generously continued to fund programs that we offered online for children, families and adults.  We anticipate that that model will continue at least through mid-2021. We look forward to the time when we can resume more normal interaction with the Friends and are able to resume more normal fundraising, programs and meetings.  I thank all who have participated in the Friends over the past year and look forward to working with you in 2021. Please join us! Membership application here costs just $10 per year:




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