The Alpine Public Library, recently reopened at its new location, is busier than ever as residents and visitors stop in to check out some of the new materials on the shelves, or buy used books in the Re-Reads Bookstore.
As the community comes in to enjoy the new building, the library’s Board of Directors asks that patrons and friends also consider pitching in toward meeting operating expenses during this first year of operation.
“We’re stretched a little thin during this first stretch in the new building,” said Chris Ruggia, president of the board. “The transition from the old building took longer than expected, and our cash reserves dipped a bit lower than we would have liked.”
The library receives financial support from both the City of Alpine and Brewster County.
Unlike most public libraries in Texas, however, the Alpine Public Library is an independent nonprofit without the level of governmental funding that comes with city or county libraries.
The average library in Texas receives 94 percent of its operating funds from its governmental owner. The combined city and county funding for the Alpine Public Library comes to less than 50 percent.
“The city and the county do what they can for the library, and we certainly wouldn’t be here without their support,” Ruggia said, “but over the years as expenses have inevitably gone up, we’ve had to supplement their funding more and more, through sales from the Re-Reads Used Bookstore, fundraisers like the ArtWalk silent auction and donations.
“If folks appreciate what the library gives to the life of our community, we ask that they please consider making a donation toward operations, especially during this first year as we’re getting back up to speed,” Ruggia said.
The library board suggests a $100 monthly contribution for the year as an ideal way to help with ongoing expenses.
But Ruggia said that any amount, either monthly or as a one-time gift, is greatly appreciated. Monthly donations can be set up securely online by credit card or made by check. Look for the ad in this issue of the Alpine Avalanche, pick up a donation form at the library, or call 432-837-2621 for more information.