CAMDEN — The fundraiser for the Camden Public Library has finished with an outpouring of support from the community.
The Camden Public Library was forced to reduce its hours of operation earlier this year as a result of expected budget cuts as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to a loss of state aid, the Camden village board initially cut the $20,000 it normally gives to library from the budget.
Taberg resident Jessica Travers set up a GoFundMe with a goal of $25,000 to help the library after all the times it helped her and her family, she said. The fundraiser reached its goal with $25,417, the result of donations by 258 people.
“Seeing the community come out in force to support the Camden Library has been incredible,” she continued. “I felt proud.”
In addition, with federal funds expected to help the state and local community as a result of the American Rescue Plan, the Camden Village Board aims to restore its aid on a quarterly basis. Camden Library Director Linda Frenzel said the Camden Village Board has given the Library $5,000 and will try to continue the funding “...as they can.”
Frenzel said the Library opened on a Thursday on April 1 for the first time since Jan. 1
“The support is overwhelming,” she continued. “Initially when we were telling people that we were going to be closing on Thursdays, people would say ‘Oh, okay’ and leave. We were disheartened because we thought people didn’t care as much as we did. But obviously, the community decided they wanted us to be open.”
“I’m happy this GoFundMe page has helped to demonstrate how important the library is to the community,” Travers said. “We have donations from the Camden Teachers Association, the Youth Soccer Program, Camden Collision and so many more. We have organizations and businesses who have a substantial amount.”
Travers said the GoFundMe page will close soon and the company will directly mail a check to the Library.
Travers’s work to support the Library and get it attention has not gone unnoticed and other fundraisers have been started, such as the “Camden’s Egg Your House” Easter-themed fundraiser, which was held Friday and today by Camden Library-goer Kenny Morrison.
Morrison said his family was originally going to make a donation, but instead decided to take things up a notch.
“We decided to put something together and we thought we could sell 2,500 plastic eggs,” Morrison said. “We sold 2,500 in the first day. It got crazy, real fast — which was great.”
Eggs were filled with chocolate for local kids, but some ordered Easter eggs for adults that came with “...little liquor bottles,” Morrison said.
“Our final total [on April 1] was around 10,500 eggs sold,” he continued. “We should be close to around $4,000 in a perfect world.”
With this money raised, Frenzel said the Library will be able to keep to its previous hours of operation. “The Library’s going to be in a much better position after this,” Travers said.
For more about the Camden Public Library, visit https://m.facebook.com/pages/category/Library/Camden-Library-Association-123518871000918/