Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Homer Library Begins 2014 Calendar Fundraising Effort

Beginning August 12th and continuing until completion about December 10th of this year, the Homer Library will once again produce and sell the "Homer Community Library Calendar.” Begun in 1965 by the Homer Lions Club, the Calendar became the Library’s primary fundraising activity in 2006 when the Lions Club disbanded. Since then the Calendar has raised $27,640.43 in much needed funds for the Library, according to figures provided by K.C. Jones, Library Treasurer and Calendar Chairperson.

A volunteer project, the Calendar netted $3602.24 last year. Subsequently, this profit was used to pay 12.18% of the Library’s FY 2012 expenses. Real estate taxes plus a State of Illinois per capita grant contributed another $18,982.28 in income, or 70.82%—nearly all of which was used to pay for Library salaries, the online catalog service fee, and membership in Illinois Heartland Library System. The remaining 17% of Library expenditures were paid from income generated by membership fees; fines; printing, copying and fax services; monetary donations; sales of discarded materials; and fundraising efforts other than the Calendar. For comparison, a recent newspaper article mentioned that the Champaign Public Library receives 92% of its income from taxes. The same report also said that they required an infusion of cash from the City of Champaign in order to meet their commitments. In contrast, thanks to the generous participation of Homer residents in Library fundraising efforts, especially the Calendar, the Homer Library has continued to operate in the black—even in these trying times. However, without Calendar income, it would not be possible for the Library to maintain its current level of support for programs and purchases of new materials, including books, movies, music CDs, magazines, and reference works.

For the past several years, more than a third of yearly Calendar income has been allocated to the “Reading Is Fundamental” (RIF) program. This now defunct federal program was designed to improve child literacy by giving, in our case, 400 to 500 books per year to kindergarten through fourth grade students in Heritage School District. Thanks to Calendar income, the Library has been able to continue this popular program despite the lack of federal assistance. Fortunately, children's book publishers have continued their RIF discounts. But the Library doesn’t know how much longer they will continue to do so since their federal aid has also ended. For this reason alone, the Library staff hopes community support for this yearʼs Calendar will meet or surpass this year's goal of $4000.

Although the Library is the sole recipient of Calendar income, everyone in Heritage School District can benefit from Calendar funds. According to Illinois State law, Homer is the official Library for the other communities and townships in Heritage School District because they are without a Library of their own. Heritage School District residents who live outside the Village limits of Homer may obtain a Homer Library card for just $35—the average amount Homer residents pay for Library privileges as levied on their real estate tax bills.

The Calendar will be mailed in mid-December, as it was last year, to every household, business, and farmstead in the Village of Homer and South Homer Township. These mailings, at just 14.5¢ each, are made possible by a U.S. Postal Service program that encourages mailings to every household in a given zip code. In the next month or so, a Library volunteer will be calling on families who have recently moved to Homer to ask if they will contribute their listings to the Calendar. Listings consist of anniversaries and birthdays of Homer family members that are printed on the relevant dates of the Calendar, along with meetings of civic and religious organizations. The charges for listings are the same as last year: one or two listings; just $6.00; additional listings are $1.00 each. If anyone wants an extra Calendar, a donation of $10.00 will be very much appreciated.

Previous Calendar patrons will be sent an email or postcard that shows their current listings. Patrons who wish to resubscribe to the Calendar just need to send in or drop off payment at the Homer Library for the amount billed. The deadline for payment is September 30, 2013 and checks should be made payable to the Homer Library. Changes and or corrections to listings, or new requests to be added to the Calendar, may be sent to Homer Library, Attn: K.C. Jones, 500 E. Second St., Homer, IL 61849. Patrons with questions may telephone K.C. at 531-7856, or email him at The Library requests that past patrons and advertisers please reply promptly when they receive email and postcards regarding the renewal of Calendar subscriptions. Doing so eliminates future mailing costs, insures that funds raised are used for Library support and not for postage, and provides the Library with the funds to pay Calendar production costs.

The staff and Trustees of the Homer Community Library wish to sincerely thank all those Calendar patrons who have in the past so generously supported the Library’s annual Calendar fundraiser—some for many years. They also ask that you please help make this a successful fundraising year by keeping or adding your listings to the 2014 Calendar or by making a donation.