We are writing in response to a story titled “Library aims to spread donations more equitably” on page A7 of the
July 11–24 issue.
Members of the Friends of Linden Hills Library, like other Hennepin County Library Friends groups, treasure our libraries and are honored to support them. We believe everyone should have access to these safe, welcoming community spaces where all can explore, imagine, learn and be informed, enriched and inspired. It has been and continues to be our mission to help the library and its programs thrive in our neighborhoods and in all the county neighborhoods.
We support plans to make available the Friends-type funding discussed in the article to all of the libraries in the system and would be happy to be involved in the process.
The Friends of the Linden Hills Library raises funds primarily through book sales, with books generously donated by all of our neighborhoods as well as some excess books from the library itself. The funds we raise are for Linden Hills Library and for Hennepin County Library system-wide initiatives. Every year we contribute funds to these system-wide initiatives, which include collections (books, movies, music, etc.), programming and, most recently, funding for libraries that do not have fundraising groups. We strongly support these initiatives; this year we contributed $3,000 toward them.
While book sales are our main source of funds, they also accomplish a few other things we value: a) allowing books to be purchased inexpensively, thereby promoting literacy; b) helping people dispose of books they no longer want; and c) keeping older books out of landfills.
During our sales, we see families, teachers and all buying books as well as children sitting right down and reading a book, sometimes with a sibling. We see new and old friends who meet at the book sales year after year. This community building and outreach is also a benefit of the book sale.
Some programs we have recently supported financially at Linden Hills Library include the Mapping Prejudice exhibit and program, the puppet performance by the “Open Eye Theater,” tables and window shades in the meeting room and craft supplies. We try to accommodate all the requests we receive from our librarians.
We are very grateful for the support our used book sales have received from residents and businesses in Southwest Minneapolis over the years. We are planning to continue these book sale traditions in the years ahead.