ASSOCIATES (2004, July, v. 11, no. 1) - associates.ucr.edu
[Editor: Katie has been with Associates since the beginning, is on the Editorial Board, and even has the title of "Associate Editor." Associates readers freely admit they seek out her "Eclectic Rantings" column first before the other articles!]
Katie Buller Kintner
Lately there has been a wonderful library fund-raising project going on locally, an idea that is sprouting up in more than a few places. In this case, one of the local libraryís statuary lions was duplicated in fiberglass. There were a couple dozen made, sponsored, distributed to artists who in turn decorated them and returned them to the city. The lions were then spread around the town for the public to admire and vote for, then they will be auctioned off, proceeds to the library.
This was a very creative idea that involved the public and brought the library into the spotlight, so it comes to mind that perhaps other libraries could use some ideas for some creative fundraising locally. With that in mind, I present "Katieís Fantastic Fundraisers: something for everyone!" Additionally itís time for one of my lists again.
Fundraiser no. 1:
Bookmobile races arenít new but my idea is! Instead of Trudy the always-alert bookmobile driver, get your favorite NASCAR driver behind the wheel! With Jeff Gordon, Dale Jr. or Michael Waltrip on the job, youíll get public notice! Throw in a storybook session with Dale Jarrett and youíve got yourself an event thatís sure to raise more than enough dough for the repairs.
Fundraiser no. 2:
Haul the bookmobile out onto a frozen lake, then let people guess the day it falls through and sell them a raffle ticket. Everyone who guesses the correct day gets put into a raffle for an almost brand new book truck.
Fundraiser no. 3:
Realizing that bookmobiles arenít the answer to all libraries money woes, letís move into the realm of library staff participation with a beauty pageant! But this is no ordinary beauty pageant. Instead of nubile teenage beauties (who would otherwise probably never set foot in a library), enroll your favorite library staffer. With proper advertising, thereís no reason that five or ten people wouldnít show up to see Jean the cataloger in a tankini or Rolf the reference librarian squeeze into that speedo!
Fundraiser no. 4:
Open a library style salon in the back of the circulation area. After all who wouldnít want to look like a librarian. All you need is some scissors from the bindery, a sugar bowl from the break room and youíre ready to snip and blow your way to black ink!
Fundraiser no. 5:
People are already bringing food and drink into the library, so get with the times and start selling off library space to corporate concerns. With Mickey Dís located just inside the door, who will need to leave the library? Oh wait, thatís already going on. Never mind.
Fundraiser no. 6:
Celebrity Lookalike Day! The name says it allówho in your library could be George Clooney or Julia Roberts? Or Zasu Pitts? Charge an entrance fee to see the stars checking out books, answering reference questions and scraping gum off the bottoms of chairs!
Fundraiser no. 7:
Rent out space to the local jail. Hey, many of the nogoodniks are already hanging out in the library, so it would save time, hassle and make a little extra dough on the side. Fuggidaboudit!
Fundraiser no. 8:
Take another look at your Rare Books section! See a priceless archive or money just waiting to be made? Who needs that Audobon when a single page alone is worth your entire weekly budget? Ancient papyri no one can read or money in the bank? You be the judge!
Fundraiser no. 9:
Race car drivers are funded by sponsors who get their names plastered all over the car. Why canít a library do that? Get a local clinic to sponsor "New England Journal of Medicine" or the bar across the street to ante up for "Psychology Today", then plaster their names in big ads outside the library. For a quick change, use static cling plastic peels for the up to the minute exterior look.
Fundraiser no. 10 (and last!):
Hire Katie to come to your library and talk about her new website, Library Lore (http://www.sillybirds.com/librarylore). Then charge people who donít come. Youíll clean up.