President's Message

January 1, 2019

2018 has been our most successful year ever thanks to all our wonderful volunteers and generous donors who have contributed not only lots and lots of great books, but also money 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 $87,000 to the Bainbridge Public Library (BPL) over the course of 2018.

In addition to money given directly to BPL, BI FOL 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.  Further, we paid for some of the magazine subscriptions that are sent to BPL, sponsored the Opera series with Norm Hollingshead, and contributed books to a Free Little Library at the Municipal Court.

The money we have contributed to BPL has gone into the Friends of the Library Endowment.  A few facts will explain why the Endowment is so important:

  • The Kitsap Regional Library (KRL) receives tax money from Bainbridge Island and other Kitsap County 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 to $8,000 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.  Our contribution toward the Endowment has been greatly appreciated by BPL.

I can think of few better opportunities to contribute to the welfare of the community than to serve its need for information, entertainment, and, most of all, intellectual growth.

The FOL Board joins me in wishing each of you a very happy and healthy new year.

Lois Reitz, President, BI Friends of the Library
Lois Reitz
Lois Reitz, President 2018