TOWNSEND -- After taking a financial cut following the failed override this past fall, the Townsend Public Library is doing what they can to make up the costs of some line items in their budget.
On March 2 and March 3, the Friend of the Townsend Library are sponsoring an arts and crafts sale in the story time room. The library will be selling all manner of craft supplies: paper, yarn, paintbrushes, scrapbook materials and much more.
Molly Benevides, the children's librarian, came up with the idea, according to Director Stacy Schuttler.
"We have so much stuff in children's supplies we just don't use. Various supplies have been donated to us that we haven't found a purpose for in three years. We don't want to throw away perfectly usable items so she came up with the idea of a sale," said Schuttler.
The library is accepting donations from the public and has already started accumulating a variety of items. They are accepting any type of craft supplies but they are asking only for items in excellent condition.
"We don't want people to give us stuff that they should probably throw away themselves," said Schuttler.
The funds raised during the craft sale will be going towards the cost of museum passes. The library offers passes to more than a dozen locations, including the Butterfly Place, Davis Farmland, the Museum of Science in Boston and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. A complete list is available on the library's website, townsendlibrary.org.
The Friends of the Library in conjunction with the endowment have started the process of taking over supporting the cost of the passes.
"They took over a few passes at a time. By fiscal 2014, they're trying to have it completely covered between the Friends and the endowment," said Schuttler.
But the passes don't come cheap. The Butterfly Place, which is one of the most requested locations, sells the library passes at $350 for a booklet; last year, the library went through two booklets.
"We're just trying to find new revenue," said Schuttler.
The library is also utilizing the services of local photographer Aaron Corn, who has volunteered to help with another fundraiser. From March 15 to 17, families can sign up for a 30-minute photo session for a $25 sitting fee. The fee gets them a 10 inch by 13 inch family portrait, with no obligation to buy anything else. A portion of the sitting fee and the revenue from any additional portrait sales will go directly to the Friends of the Library. Corn is also working with other local libraries to offer the same package.
Corn has worked with the library in the past teaching photography classes. He's also been in discussion with Schuttler about some other promotional packages, such as a Halloween portrait event.
"My friends and family use the library constantly," said Corn about his reasons for helping with fundraising. "I wanted to look at ways for both of us to benefit. It'll get my business out there and it will give back to the library."
After the town voted down the override, the library took a permanent cut of $2,400, affecting line items and office supplies. In the past, the museum passes had been purchased through the library's regular budget, and their cost took a fairly large chunk, said Schuttler.
That's when she brought the passes to the Friends, who said that they would take over the cost alongside the endowment. They also sponsor a variety of other programs and events at the library.
"They're trying to sponsor as many as they can so it doesn't take as heavy a burden on the books and materials budget," said Schuttler.
The library is waiting to see what happens with budgeting in fiscal 2014, but for fiscal 2013, Schuttler said, "We're in okay shape."
For information regarding the upcoming fundraisers, Schuttler can be contacted at 978-597-1714.