June 14, 2020
I hope all of our Friends members and patrons of the La Mesa Library are doing well during this COVID 19 pandemic and quarantine. This message is to bring you up to date on the library and the Friends activities.
Library Operational Issues
San Diego County Library (SDCL) is developing a robust plan for ensuring the health and safety of library staff and customers. The La Mesa Library will launch door-side pickup service on Thursday, June 25. For information on door-side service, please visit our website at www.sdcl.org. At this time, we will not be accepting returned materials but all due dates have been extended to July 31 and we will not be charging late fees. SDCL has invested heavily in its online eLibrary at www.sdcl.org during this time. You can visit this website to sign up for a library card, check out ebooks and audiobooks, learn a new skill via Lynda.com, and even watch storytime. We will even be offering a virtual Summer Learning program later this month. Library staff looks forward to seeing Friends and customers very soon!
Bookstore Operations Plans
As we say repeatedly, revenue from our bookstore has been the life blood of the Friends of the La Mesa Library for years. But that revenue is likely gone until much later this year or next year. And we will have to develop our own safety procedures for the processing and selling the donations we receive. We will rely heavily on the national studies to determine how best to process books and stock our shelves. We are also examining how best to handle a large volume of donations, assuming there has been a backlog since people have not been able to donate during the library shutdown.
We must be prepared in the event that some of our volunteer bookstore attendants are unwilling to return. Many of these good people are in the age range said to be most endangered by the virus. It would be understandable if they are no longer willing to work in the confines of the bookstore and to deal with the cash sales that have been the norm. Should we lose some volunteers we might not be able to open the bookstore everyday as we have done in the past.
Other Ways to Support the Friends
- Donate to the Friends online. Your donations help support the library’s ongoing collection and facility needs. Learn more at lamesalibrary.org/donate.
- Corporate Matching Gifts. Many companies match employee donations to non-profits. This means your donation can help provide even more library materials, programs, and services for our community. We encourage you to check with your boss or HR department to see if your company has a matching gift program.
- AmazonSmile: You Shop. Amazon gives. You can always generate additional donations by shopping at smile.amazon.com, where Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the Friends. AmazonSmile is a free program where you’ll find the same low prices, vast selection, and convenient shipping options using your existing Amazon account. To participate, please visit smile.amazon.com and select “Friends of the La Mesa Library Inc.”
Friends Board Activities
The Friends Board met by video conference on June 11. We heard the good news on the partial reopening of our library, and also the status of the repairs needed to the library as a result of the May 30 demonstrations in and around the Civic Center. We also adopted a budget for the coming fiscal year based upon a significant reduction in bookstore revenues. But there is also a significant reduction in Friends donations to the library as a lot of the programming we support will not be needed for some time. The board will revisit the budget when there is a clearer picture of both our revenue and the library’s support needs.
This summer was supposed to be the bi-annual election of board officers at a General Membership meeting. Given that social distancing recommendations are still be in effect, it is unlikely we will hold a meeting until later this year. At the June 11 meeting the current board agreed to serve until it is safe to hold an election.
¬John Schmitz, President