he Shasta Library Foundation Board of Directors spent much of their April board meeting reconnecting with each other. We were all missing one another and the connection that only comes from getting together in person. We sincerely hope you and your family are doing well, staying healthy, and keeping your spirits up during this unprecedented and uncertain time.
Like you, our Board, staff, and volunteers are feeling the effects of COVID-19 and the stay at home orders Governor Newsom issued last month. Many of our Board members are parents, navigating the realities of homeschooling and distance learning. Some of us are entrepreneurs doing everything we can to keep our businesses open and our employees working – even if that is from home. And yes, the majority of us have become regular attendees and veritable experts of Zoom video meetings.
Of course, there was business to discuss. We talked about the impact of the global pandemic on the ability of the Library Foundation to fulfill our mission of supporting the Shasta Public Libraries now and into the future.
Despite the disruption of COVID-19, I’m proud to share that through the generosity of supporters like you, combined with a history of sound fiscal management practices by our Board of Directors, the Shasta Library Foundation will be able to meet our current commitments to the Shasta Public Libraries for their 2020 – 2021 fiscal year.
At the same time, we are trying our best to understand the current and long-term effects of the pandemic projected for our ability to support the library into the future. The Shasta Library Foundation is reexamining our business operations. Like other nonprofit organizations nationwide and here at home, the Foundation has had to cut expenses and plan for inevitable gaps in our operating budget.
After the library closed in mid-March, the Foundation halted book sales through our online Treasured Books program. It is impossible to access and ship books to buyers. In addition, the Board made the difficult decision early on not to move forward with an aggressive spring fundraising campaign out of respect for the insecurity many people are feeling regarding jobs and personal investments. And just last week, we temporarily paused all activities and planning for the annual A Novel Affair event scheduled for September.
These times are uncertain. We know there are many charitable organizations and important causes worthy of support, particularly now with health as a top priority. Thousands of children, families, and community members benefit significantly from the high caliber programs, services, and materials of the Shasta Public Libraries – both in branch, and electronically/online. We want to ensure continued access for years to come. We are asking you to keep the Shasta Public Libraries and the Shasta Library Foundation in mind as a way to support the health of our community.
If you are in a position to give, please consider making a contribution by
or sending your gift to The Shasta Library Foundation, PO Box 3366, Redding, CA 96099-3366.
We are all craving a little connection and are eager to return to life as we know it. When that happens, one thing is for sure. The Shasta Public Library system will open its doors and welcome you inside. People will gather, connect, and have their lives enriched by its resources.
I hope we will see you soon.
Jenn Snider, MPH