President's Message

January 1, 2020

Happy New Year Friends of the Library.  I am the new President of the Friends of the Library Board (in spite of fierce competition...).  Joining me on the board are Vice-President, Kathy Bolles, Treasurer, Charles Browne, Secretary, Carol Schuyler and members, Becky Donegan, Barbara Erickson, Willow Follett, Loanne Harmeling, Lois Reitz, Rebecca Robins and Charlene Selvar. We meet on the third Monday of each month at 2:00 p.m. We welcome you to join us at any meeting or to request an item to be added to the agenda.

We encourage your suggestions regarding any improvements in our book room or sales. We greatly appreciate all that you do during the year, whether it is sorting and pricing books in preparation for sale, organizing the magazines, keeping the foyer and area outside our book rooms stocked with books and magazines, putting out the "reminder of our upcoming sale” sign, cashiering at sales, sending out reminders, printing schedules, contacting newspapers with sale dates, checking books on-line, managing sections in our book rooms, collecting and counting money from the two cash boxes, or taking out the recycling. Every job is important to our continued success. 

2019 has been a very successful year thanks to all our wonderful volunteers and generous donors who have contributed not only lots and lots of great books, but also donations directly to the Bainbridge Island Friends of the Library (BI FOL) and, in addition, through One Call For All.  BI FOL has had so many terrific book sales that we have been able to contribute $76,000 to the Bainbridge Public Library (BPL) over the course of the year.  In addition to money given directly to BPL, the Friends provided significant support for the children's, teens' and adult programs at BPL. We contributed to the children's summer reading program, the children's story time, and maintenance of the aquarium in the children's area. The extremely popular Great Decisions programs put on by Library U are partially supported by the Friends and we also contributed books to a Free Little Library at the Municipal Court. The money we contribute to BPL goes into the Friends of the Library Endowment. Here is why that is so important: 

  • The Kitsap Regional Library (KRL) receives tax money from Bainbridge Island and other Kitsap communities.  With those funds, KRL supplies the staff and the books for the Bainbridge Public Library. 
  • The Bainbridge Public Library itself does not receive any tax money.  It is owned by the Bainbridge Island Community and is dependent upon donations from the Community for its continuing operation, which includes any capital addition to or repair of the library building, all building maintenance, all utility bills, and all maintenance of the grounds and parking lots.

The BI Friends of the Library Board established the Endowment in 2007 with their accumulated sales proceeds of $100,000.  Every month since then, (except during the Refresh Project), BI FOL has transferred approximately $5,000 to the Endowment.  Our successful sales have allowed us to increase that amount during a few months this past year.  The FOL Board has recommended that BPL refrain from withdrawing funds from the Endowment until it has become self-sustaining.  Our wish is that ultimately, the Endowment will provide one source of secure income for the Bainbridge Public Library.  This contribution has been greatly appreciated by BPL. You all have contributed to making this wish a growing reality and kudos for your hard work and dedication.

As we begin this New Year, the Board sends its wishes for a happy, healthy and hopeful 2020.  Thank you for all that you contribute and I look forward to working with you each week.  

Linda Meier, President, BI Friends of the Library

Linda Meier
Linda Meier, President 2020