Imagine helping the Wilton Library–and everyone the Library impacts–for only $25.

Now, imagine if everyone pitched in $25 to help the Library when it needs help–just think how much of an impact that could have.

That’s what library officials are hoping the public will do for a new fundraising campaign they launched this week.

While the Town of Wilton does fund 75% of the library budget to cover building operations, Wilton Library is not a public library and it depends on donors and fundraising to make up the remaining 25% of its annual budgets that are directed toward the materials that are on the shelves, and programs such as Human Library, author talks, literary lectures and seminars, documentary films, concerts, technology, services and so much more. Library administrators have to do community fundraising of more than $1 million overall each year toward that 25%.

During the budget process last spring, the Board of Selectmen asked library officials to do more–targeting a $50,000 piece of the FY’19 budget that library administrators presented. The BOS challenged the library to raise $25,000 (on top of the fundraising it has always done each year), and said the Town of Wilton would match what the Library raises of that $25,000, in order to reach Wilton Library’s original budget request.

Library officials say the shortfall of $50,000 in the library’s Fiscal 2018-2019 budget is crucial to the library’s operations and to providing what the community expects.

A document from the library described it this way:  “Whether it’s 40 fresh-faced kids having their imaginations come alive in a magical Hogwarts world, a maker learning embroidery to transform an apron into a gift for someone special, a music-lover spending a few hours embracing a world class concert, or a senior relaxing for a few moments out of the blistering heat, Wilton Library touches so many lives every day.”

To raise the needed dollars, the library just launched a ‘25 for 25’ Challenge Grant Campaign, asking people to donate $25, from September 25 through October 25, 2018, to reach its goal so that the Town can release the additional funding.

“The timing of this campaign is crucial since the library needs to know its total funding for the year,” explains Elaine Tai-Lauria, Wilton Library’s executive director. “For this particular initiative, donations have to be collected early in the library’s fiscal year 2018-2019 so that the $25,000 matching grant will be provided by the Town long before June, 2019. In this way, the library can plan within its budget and continue operating efficiently as a fully functioning institution.”

Wilton Library’s Board of Trustees president Michele Klink adds an appeal to the residents:  “When we stop and think what the library means to all of us–a place to study, gather, innovate, hold meetings, learn, appreciate art–this is what we want to preserve. Our jewel of the community.”

Of course, Tai-Lauria says donors can give more than $25, but officials are hoping to get a significant part of the community to participate.

“The important thing is that we get as many people as we can invested in this campaign so that we can receive the monies being held as soon as possible,” she says.

Wilton Library Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit association.

Anyone wishing to donate to the ‘25 for 25’ Campaign may visit the Wilton Library website and click on the “Donate Now” link, or stop by the circulation desk now through Oct. 25.

For more information, please contact Elaine Tai-Lauria via email or by calling 203.762.6322 or Robin Axness, development director, via email or by calling 203.762.6323.