Where would you be without your library?
We're a small town in Massachusetts, population ~1800. Our cute little library was built 110 years ago, for a town of 400 people.
Features of our current library building:
- No running water. The composting toilet and hand sanitizer goes only so far with kids in tow
- So small that our weekly story hours can only accommodate 5 or 6 children
- Librarian must turn away volunteers, since we can only fit two adults behind the desk
- Can't fit people lingering over the stacks; it's in, a quick browse, and out
- No room for students to study
- Zero privacy for people wanting to use one of our two computers
- Can't host any events or meetings for more than a handful of people
- Free wifi (only part of our town has high speed internet of any kind). People sit with their laptops in their cars, since there's literally no room in the building
That's right--there's no room in our cute little library to sit and read a book!
Help us raise $150,000 by June 30 to match a generous donor!
Here's the awesome news: The state Library Commission has agreed that we desperately need a new building, likes our plans for one (see the architectural renderings in the photos) and has promised to fund 60% of it. That means they'll kick in $2.1 million -- as long as we raise $1.4 million by June 30. So far, we've raised about $220,000.
A generous anonymous donor has provided us with a $150,000 matching gift. Will you help us reach this goal? Make a tax deductible contribution today!
What others are saying: check for updates!
BoingBoing: Tiny library raises money with tiny uke and awesome video by Cory Doctorow Blackbeltlibrarian sez, "The Shutesbury Public Library in Shutesbury, Massachusetts is seeking funding in order to build a new building to replace their charming but woefully inadequate current one (which features no running water!). In order to get the word out staff and patrons created this cute little video in order to show the shortcomings of their current location, as well as what they could do with a new building."
Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself)3/7/12 8:53 AM Good luck to @MNSpearLibrary. Best tiny library video ever: tinyurl.com/6ucnos7 I hope they get their donations. #ukulele#ILoveLibraries
hodgman (@hodgman)3/7/12 10:56 AM The Public Library in Shutesbury, MA has made a movie that made me cry ACTUAL HUMAN TEARS OF HAPPINESS.:tmblr.co/ZVV4wwHckKIN
Paul F. Tompkins (Mr. Show) Libraries are a good thing to support, I think. I am of the opinion that they may serve to decrease the level of ignorance in the world rather than increase it. We’re probably all set, ignorance-wise. I bet we could afford to go the other way for a while, see how that works.
Rightthisminute.com: 900 Square Foot Small Town Library Hopes to Grow We're like totally famous on a tv-type situation!
The New Yorker: "The tiny Shutesbury Public Library might not have running water, but it does have a bunch of determined and creative book lovers on its side."
WRSI: Shutesbury Library shutes and scores with a viral ukulele video
Emily Bloch a library supporter weighs in on the video that has now gone viral.
The Daily Hampshire Gazette: Shutesbury library's video tugs at heartstrings around the world "The Shutesbury library now has the world's attention. A fundraising video made on behalf of the proposed new library here went viral this week on the Internet and attracted a couple of hundred donations from around the world."
The Little Library That Could is a sweet and thoughtful blog post by a young woman who grew up in Shutesbury. "I don't ask that you support four walls and a ceiling, or that you support a public service that you are unlikely to use in a town you are unlikely to visit. I ask you to support fostering a love of learning and literature that doesn't end in childhood."
Spare the Rock, Spoll the Child is a great family music radio show broadcast from Northampton. They write: "Do you love your library? We do. So do the nice folks in Shutesbury, even though their library is about as big as most minivans and doesn't have running water. So they'd like a bigger and better one that they'd love even more! They're to raise some money, and have made this crazy cute video. (With ukelele!) You should watch it and throw 'em a little money at http://mnspear.org/."
The Lakeville Public Library (MA) posts to their Facebook page: "Cute video made by volunteers who are trying to raise the matching grant funds to build a new library...seems like a familiar story ;) Watch it and find yourself remembering what it was like at the old library and appreciative of how far we've come!"
Lloyd Miller of The Deedle Deedle Dees (a rock n' roll teaching band for kids) writes about our video: "Is there a "might make you cry" flag on YouTube?"