Officials at the Scituate Town Library may be waiting for the town’s final vote on the proposed $12-million library renovation and expansion project, but the efforts to raise money have not.
The project received unanimous support at Town Meeting in early November, but the $12-million property tax increase will need approval at the ballot boxes come Dec. 14.
Although there’s still one hurdle to overcome, library supporters have two fundraisers planned that could raise thousands of dollars apiece.
“Everyone is really excited,” Scituate Library Director Jessi Finnie said of the upcoming fundraisers. “Of course everyone is holding their breath until the vote on the 14th [for full library approval]. But town meeting was positive and affirming. We just have to wait and see what people decide to do.”
The project already has significant financial backing, with a $5-million grant from the state and currently over $600,000 in private fundraising.
The sale of a quilt designed to look like a shelf full of books could also raise upwards of $30,000.
“Each book spine sells for between $75-150, so it has the potential to raise quite a bit of money,” Finnie said.
The quilt, which will be unveiled at the library on Nov. 24 at 2:30 p.m., was compiled by over a dozen local quilters, stitching together fabric designed to look like the spines of books.
The book spines sit alongside photos of Scituate printed on fabric, and emblematic Scituate landmarks created with strips of fabric, Finnie said.
Each spine will be sold for $75-$100 a piece, and a local calligrapher will write names or even a quote along the spine.
“People can honor someone in their family, a teacher, a friend. If they get one of the larger spines, they can get a quote of something that means to them. There are a lot of options,” Finnie said.
The patches will go on sale shortly after the unveiling on Sunday. All proceeds will go to the Scituate Library Foundation for the purpose of the renovation and expansion project.
Local portrait photographer Kevin Morrill also offered his services for a second fundraiser, to occur at the Scituate Country Club on Nov. 30.
“He and his family are big library users and supporters and they wanted to do something to give back to the project,” Finnie said.
Morrill will offer 15-minute family portrait sessions at the Scituate Country Club for $50. The best five photos will be placed on a disk for families and will be dropped off at the library at a later date.
If every time slot is filled during the day, which will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the fundraiser could also raise a couple thousand dollars, Finnie said.
All the funding will go to the library project as well, Finnie said.
“It’s a short timeline since the 30th is coming up quickly, but we thought we would give it a shot in case people wanted to get family photos done for the holidays or they have family in town already,” Finnie said.
Both fundraisers are happening in conjunction with several others currently running for the library project, including the 1,000 homes campaign, seeking 1,000 homes to donate $1,000 or more.
Other donations have been coming in since the initial Town Meeting vote, said Library Fundraiser Les Ball.
"We have seen a large uptick in donations since the Town Meeting, which is very encouraging. We expect this to continue. Also, we will begin working harder after the first of the year," Ball said. "But, at this time, we need to focus on the vote."
The project will increase the 35-year-old building 35 percent, adding light-filled, handicap-accessible spaces and much needed meeting space while also updating the roof, windows, bathrooms, and parking lot.