Annual Appeal Letter – 2022-2023

October, 2022

Dear Friends,

“I’m of a fearsome mind to throw my arms around every living librarian who crosses my path, on behalf of the souls they never knew they saved.”  – Author Barbara Kingsolver

Many milestones have come and gone in our library’s illustrious history since the first librarian was hired upon its founding in 1894.  In 1998 the Perkins House (where the Mothers Wing now stands) was purchased to house the book sale.  That same year, a new librarian was hired –  Mary-Lou Boucouvalas.

As we launch our annual appeal, we celebrate her upcoming twenty-five years of dedication to Graves Library.  We also salute the hard-working staff, many of whom have been assisting you for ten to twenty years, as well as our countless volunteers.

Continuity builds community.  Even while our doors were shut during the pandemic, the devoted staff continued to shelve and delivery books, host innovative virtual programs, and maintain the library’s integral place in our town and our lives.  Now when you stop by you might see kids enjoying story hour in the garden with Terri and Isabelle, someone getting help applying for a job online in the business center, shoppers in our small but mighty book sale, or a fascinating resident being interviewed by Mary-Lou for another YouTube episode of “What’s Your Story.”  Lectures, clubs, classes, art shows, and garden tours, books in the Cloud or in the basement–the list of what we offer would more than fill this page.

Thanks to your ongoing, valued support our staff has never stopped being there for you.  Knowing you can count on them has been a mainstay in the community for decades.  Now, this year, we really need your help.  More than 60 percent of Graves Library expenses are covered by your gifts.  That means we rely on your generosity to keep the lights on, serve the public, and pay the staff.

We’ve set an ambitious goal to raise $100,000.  As we move beyond the challenges of the pandemic, Mary-Lou and the library face growing needs that include redesigning our outdated circulation desks, reimagining indoor and outdoor spaces, and expanding the staff.

Your willingness to invest in the future of Graves Library will help us write the new chapter for our role in this community for the next twenty-five years.

With sincere thanks,

Connie Dykstra, President – Board of Directors

P.S.  We know times are tough, so please consider breaking your single gift into manageable monthly payments through the website: