Generosity of book, money donations

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, May 13, 2014

By Carol Phares

Director of the Pearl River County Library System and head of the Crosby Memorial Library. 

Along with the Friends of the Library, I cannot leave out the people who donate money and/or materials to the library.

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The books that are available for each book sale are gathered through donations from the public. Because of tough economic times, the Library System had to zero-out its book budget. New books are on the shelves because of generous donations by individuals and companies.

Recently, the Library System was able to open its doors more hours through the generosity of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation through the “Open the Doors for the Children” grant that allowed the Library System to hire a Circulation Clerk for the Crosby Library.

Both libraries restored their hours because the Poplarville staff, who were required at Crosby Library to help keep its doors open, are able to stay in Poplarville and keep those doors open.

The trouble with this solution is that staff should be paid for through taxes, not donations and not grants. Regular budget items such as staffing, building maintenance, utilities, etc., should be paid for with funds from the governing authorities (city, county, state) because a public library is, well, public, paid for with public funds.

When the grant was offered, the Library System decided it could not look a gift horse in the mouth. Perhaps with recent improvements in tax revenues, the Library System will once again be fully funded.

Even when the financial picture gets better, the Pearl River County Library System will depend on its volunteers for their generosity of time and donations.

In the years that I’ve worked for the library, I never cease to be amazed at how many people in all walks of life, at all levels of income, give of their time and talent to the library.

Most of them simply say it’s because they love their library and want to see it do well for everyone.

If you wish to join the Friends of Crosby Memorial Library, the Friends of Poplarville Public Library, or you wish to volunteer your time to help out at either library, just call – we’d love to talk.