Friday, November 20, 2020

Raymond Village Library makes annual appeal

By Briana Bizier

Sometimes it feels like the COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything. As we adjust to working from home or working while wearing a face mask, helping our children with hybrid and distance learning, and the awkwardness of Zoom dinner parties, our community connections have become more important than ever.

The Raymond Village Library is not fully funded
by the town of Raymond and nearly half of
the library's budget comes from grants and
private donations collected during their fall
Annual Appeal, now under way.
One of those community institutions is now asking for your help. Unlike many similar libraries, the Raymond Village Library is not fully funded by the town of Raymond. Nearly half of the library’s budget comes from grants and private donations. This means that the funds used to purchase new books, pay for subscriptions, and support their wonderful librarians come directly from generous community donations during their fall Annual Appeal. Raymond Village Library cannot function without the financial support of its patrons and donors.

This investment in our community is especially crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Raymond Village Library has played an essential role in helping Raymond residents navigate this strange and unprecedented time.

As soon as Maine’s COVID restrictions allowed, the Raymond Village Library began offering curbside pickup of books, movies, and children’s materials. The initial curbside pickup program was incredibly well received.

“Our pick-up was so popular we started running out of bags for the books,” said Allison Griffin, Director of the Raymond Village Library. This service is still available through phone, email, and the library’s website at

As the entire world stayed at home and much of our lives moved online, the free internet connection offered by Raymond Village Library became more important than ever. Generous community donations this fall allowed the library to provide additional outdoor seating around picnic tables so that the wi-fi was easily accessible even if the library was closed. In addition to providing internet service, the library also has a professional Zoom account, so that library events, such as the monthly book club or community classes, can be held safely online.

Some of the most perennially popular activities at the Raymond Village Library are the weekly baby and toddler story time hours. When social distancing requirements made those gatherings impossible, Children’s Librarian Karen Perry got creative. The library now offers weekly Story Time At Home kits complete with crafts, books, and songs to help encourage a love of literacy in even the littlest library patrons. These kits, as well as teen and tween crafts, are available every week and are always free of charge.

In addition to the take-home Story Time kits, Perry also created two popular outdoor Story Walks. The first, Jack in the Beanstalk, wound its way around the Raymond Community Garden this summer while the second, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, follows the store window fronts in the Raymond Shopping Center.

All of these activities are only possible thanks to the generosity of Raymond Village Library patrons. Unfortunately, even as the pandemic has made so many library services invaluable, it also has disrupted many of the library’s traditional fundraising activities. The Raymond Village Library truly needs our help this year more than ever.

The library’s 2020 Annual Appeal aims to raise $40,000. This amount will allow the library to expand staff hours in addition to continuing regular (or, regular for the pandemic) services. Donations to the Raymond Village Library are accepted in person, through the mail, or at their website: Contributions of any amount will allow the Raymond Village Library to continue providing books and activities to babies and toddlers, internet access to students completing their work online, new books to homebound seniors, and classes to all members of our community. Together, let’s make sure our library remains available for all our friends and neighbors during this difficult time. <

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