Rockland library receives $29,594 donation
Rockland — The Rockland Public Library received a donation check for $29,594 Sept. 16 from the estate of Elizabeth C. Bartlett, according to Library Director Amy Levine.
Bartlett, a 1942 graduate of Rockland High School, died in November 2012, at the age of 88.
"She saw this as a very good service to the community and wanted to lend her support to that," Levine said.
Levine said she is not sure how the money will be used. Bartlett did not leave specific instructions as to how she wanted the library to use her donation.
The City Council will vote at an upcoming meeting on whether to accept the donation, and may offer some guidance on how the funds should be used. Levine said that question may also go to the Library Advisory Committee.
Levine said this is only the second individual donation of that magnitude she has seen in her five years as director at the library. She noted that two organizations, Friends of Rockland Public Library and the Rockland Public Library Endowment Association are set up to support the city institution.
Like other city departments, the library was affected by budget challenges this year. Levine said one position was cut.
Despite the cut, it has not seen any decrease in the demand for use of its computers or its collection, which includes about 58,000 items.
"We are heavily used," she said. "We receive a great deal of support from the community."
The library lends out books, videos, offers a reading room for periodicals, provides services for children and parents and even lends out a telescope provided through the Cornerstones of Science program, Levine said.
The library employs six full-time staff members.
She said she did not know if the donation could be used for capital improvement projects at the library.
"It's an old building," she said. "There are always building issues."
Recently, the city has taken steps to improve the building's energy efficiency and made repairs to the south chimney, which was leaking, she said.
She acknowledged the library helps level the playing field between the rich and poor in terms of education by providing free access to books, technology and programs that some cannot afford to provide for themselves.
Major donations like this one go a long way in supporting that mission, she acknowledged.
Courier-Gazette Editor Daniel Dunkle can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 122 or email@example.com.
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Daniel Dunkle is editor of The Courier-Gazette and news director for Courier Publications. He lives in Rockland with his wife, Christine, who also works for Courier Publications, and two children.
Dunkle has previously served as editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. He has worked as a reporter and photographer in the Midcoast for 15 years.
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