Support the Annual Appeal

Dear Rockingham Residents, The holidays came early to the Rockingham Free Public Library this year. About six months early. On July 6, the Biblio Bike arrived in Bellows Falls following a cross-country trip from Portland, Oregon, where it was built by Icicle Tricycles. Though the large wooden shipping crate didn’t have a bow on top, the Bike inside delivered instant joy to everyone at the Library. And for nearly every moment since, the Biblio Bike has continued to deliver gifts to the Town of Rockingham, including the Villages of Bellows Falls and Saxtons River. Finding the perfect person to ride the bike around the Village to engage community youth in spirited programming—and to check out books and other library materials to them—brought additional happiness. And when the granting agency agreed to extend the funding so that the programming could continue into the fall (and—with luck and community support—through the winter as well), we felt an embarrassment of riches. Which brings me to the specific “ask” of this annual appeal letter. The Library has stretched the $26,700 received in grant funding as far as it can until next summer’s funding continues the program in early June. But the youth in the Village and the Town remain refreshingly excited and enthusiastic about the programming the Biblio Bike has brought to them. Though the Bike itself is now in the building— hibernating for the winter—the programming continues. And we would like that programming to continue until the grant funding returns next summer. The Library continues to serve the community in many other ways as well: robust programming has returned, circulation has rebounded, inter-library loan has high-levels of activity. And electronic resources—such as Mango, the new language-learning software, and Libby, for electronic and audio books— have been consistently growing in use and popularity. That’s great news! Even so, programming remains the Library’s focus, and the Biblio Bike programming (even in the winter without the bike itself) has caused a wonderful rejuvenation in the Library’s activities. As always, the Library is grateful for your support through the tax appropriation. We ask those of you who choose to support the Library additionally to give now in support of youth programming and the many other exciting programs and activities occurring throughout the year. And we look forward to waking up the Bike in the spring for another summer of grant-funded fun!