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Library Donation

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:28 pm
by BarbJ
There was a motion tabled at the November 4th meeting to donate $200.00 to the library in appreciation for our use of the library meeting room every other month. I looked on the library website and found this listing of events hosted by the library. I was fortunate enough to attend one of their events. It was a workshop given by Ray Troll, a professional artist from Alaska last year. It was attended by an assortment of people from 8 to 80 years old. It was first come first served to sign up for the class, and it was full within a very short time after the announcement. He was able to distribute art materials for the attendees' use, in part due to donations people make to the library. This included the professional black art paper that he uses and the special pencils needed to produce his vibrant colors. We were also provided 3-D glasses to view our artwork and see the effects of his technique of using contrasting colors against the black background. We got to keep our 3-D glasses and our artwork. I was amazed to see the talent displayed by our community. These programs would be unaffordable for many people on the peninsula, if the artist had to charge for his materials and time. I believe a donation from our club with no strings attached would be put to good use for programs like this, that serve our community. This library is a great resource for the community and I strongly back the $200.00 donation, which will help them continue programs like these. It's not as if we were donating to a special interest. The library is open to the entire North Olympic community.

Re: Library Donation

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 6:20 pm
by JerryFreilich
Dear SMUG members,
At the November 4 meeting in Port Angeles we held a discussion about officers and dues for next year. Part of that discussion was how much we should ask members as dues and how should we use our existing treasury funds. Members are aware that we pay small monthly amounts for use of the parish hall at St. Luke's Church in Sequim, we pay a small monthly amount for maintaining our website, and we also pay for refreshments at each month's meeting. We have also contributed to memorial funds for past officers and public programs (e.g., the Sequim Technology Fair). But the bulk of our funds are presumed to be for club sanctioned activities or in reserve for needed hardware expenditures (e.g., for sound and projection equipment).

At the meeting, I raised the question of using some of our funds to support the North Olympic Library System (NOLS). We have used the Carver Room at the Port Angeles Library every other month for more than 15 years. The room is open to the public free of charge so we have not needed to pay for it. My (gradually failing) memory seems to recall that we made a contribution to NOLS one past year but I don't think we have records of that event now. (Barbara P, club treasurer can look back in her records). But in any event, I thought that the notion of supporting the Library is simply a 'general good' and would be accepted by the members.

As it happens, there was quite a lively discussion on this topic. Some members felt that the library was a public service to which we were entitled, so why would we pay for it? Others felt that a contribution might be in order but that the donation should be targeted towards information technology materials or computer learning in some way. The conversation could have gone on longer, but in the interests of time, I asked the matter be put off till the Sequim meeting in December.

As you can see from the above post by BarbJ, there is ongoing discussion about this (thanks, Barb, for posting your message). So be aware that we WILL discuss this at the Sequim meeting and we WIILL send out a survey to paid members before the club takes action.

Re: Library Donation

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:30 am
by Ventureres
First, how did the prospective donation increase from $200 to $300?

But to the point, we as indivuals already contribute to library operations thru our property taxes. Hence many groups use the library free of charge.

Would it be nice for SMUG to make a contribution? Of course, but I didn't join SMUG (or any of my other organizations) for it to make charitable contributions with my dues money. Where to contribute is my personal decision, not a function of the organization.

Let's look at this from a different perspective. If SMUG's treasury was at break even, would we even be discussing a contribution? I suspect not. But let's approach this from that point of view. How would SMUG make a contribution to the library? It would take up a collection.

So let's do that here. Put out a donation container at the next two meetings and those who wish to make a contribution to the library can do so.

Bill Wrobel

Re: Library Donation

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:52 am
by Cheryl Wolfer
I retired as the financial administrator at the North Olympic Library System in 2013. Although the library is funded from property taxes, there is always greater need than there are funds, especially since property values have plummeted in this area over the past eight years. The decline in property tax collections has caused repeated cuts to the Library's budget. The majority (around 70%) of the budget goes to fund staffing of the library. Many of the Library's programs would not be possible without support from private donations. I think it is very kind of SMUG to make a donation as a token of gratitude for the use of the Carver Room over the years. If the SMUG members consent to this donation, I suggest that the donation be directed toward use for a technological purpose as that area of the budget is rarely adequately funded. I'm proud to belong to an organization that looks for ways to give back to its communities.

Re: Library Donation

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 1:38 pm
by planedoc
I have to agree with Bill on this one.
This is not a valid use of the club's treasury.
Also, the motion put on the floor at the PA meeting was for $200, NOT $300.
We can't just arbitrarily change the figure without a new motion.
But, be that as it may, I vote no on the premise of using club treasuries to support tax payer funded government
Institution open to all.
Craig Gottschalk
President elect

Re: Library Donation

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:50 am
by Bob Wiswell
I think this is a valid use of our club funds. We shouldn't expect to have a free meeting place. As stated our tax dollars do not meet the needs of the library. The library budget assumes there will be donations. We have an excellent library system-let's support it. We contribute towards the wear and tear and utility expenses-let's help pay. Also, don't put strings on our donation. They know where the need is at the time.

Re: Library Donation

Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:02 pm
by Ventureres
Agree with what you say except for the first sentence. The club should pay the going rate as other users do. The objection here is one of principle, simple stated "making donations is not a valid use of club funds."

Re: Library Donation

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:38 pm
by Jay Cline
As SMUG past president/VP/Scribe (many years ago) I can tell you that the group has a history of donating money to those who hosted meeting places including schools, churches and libraries.