After 5 years of raising funds for the Terrace library, a local non-profit has announced their generative work must come to an end.
The Friends of the Terrace Public Library Society is dissolving after a decision was made by volunteers to serve the library on an as-needed basis instead of under an official registered society.
“It was a tough decision,” said Sarah Artis, who served as the Friends board president in a letter to the Standard.
“Our volunteers were always keen to volunteer at book sales and other events, but the administrative work required of BC societies proved to be too much in the end for our small group. Also, last year, we realized we needed to buy insurance and it was pretty expensive.”
This is the first year the volunteer-based group would have to pay an annual $1,000 liability and directors insurance fee.
The Friends Society, comprised of 12 core volunteers, has raised more than $20,000 for the library and hosted a variety of fundraising events such as used book sales, quiz nights, and most recently hosting speaker Gwynne Dyer at the REM Lee Theatre. The decision to disband was originally made during the board’s annual general meeting in January.
The money raised by the group has been used to purchase important items like furniture, iPads, and science kits, but also served as a means of advocacy for support of the local library. Artis said past volunteers, herself included, are still willing to help out for future events but will take a step back from administrative efforts.
“If the library still needs us we will be there for them,” Artis said over the phone.
David Tremblay, head librarian, said he is “very grateful for all the work the Friends did” over the years.
“We’re really sad to see them disband,” Tremblay said. “They’re a core group of individuals who have really put a lot of work into it.”
He explained that most libraries have their own Friends Society and were advised by other library groups in the South Fraser Valley to implement an annual insurance fee in case of any off-site injuries or other third-party liabilities that could cause extensive damages.
He said that for now, plans for the used-book sales held during the Farmers Market are up in the air. However, discussions are taking place on how to supplement future fundraisers. “They said they will still be volunteering, but not under an official society because of the overhead costs that are involved.”
As a last act of service, Artis handed Tremblay a cheque for almost $8,000, the amount that remained in the Friends’ bank account. The library said they will use the money for renovations planned for the front desk area.