Friends of the Library

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Friends of the Library

The Friends of the Burnham Library is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to support the library in a variety of ways including fund-raising, volunteering, and sponsoring programs.  Contributions support library programs for children, teens, and adults and allow the library to expand its digital services including free e-books and audiobooks, free WiFi, access to online databases like Mango Languages, computer access, and support to members of the community.

Our Mission

The Friends of the Burnham Library are dedicated to raising funds in support of the Burnham Memorial Library and to help raise awareness of Library resources, programs, and services. The Burnham Memorial Library is an integral part of Colchester Town Government, providing a trusted and essential public service; bringing together people of all ages to connect them to information, learning, and life-long enrichment. The goal of all library programs and services is the building and strengthening of community.

Who We Are

  • All contributors to the Friends’ Annual Appeal automatically become “Friends” for the next calendar year
  • Your donation supports the Burnham Memorial Library and makes it possible for us to support library programs and services not otherwise funded 
  • Friends are advocates on behalf of the Burnham Library and volunteer in various capacities
  • Friends are entitled to free or discounted admission to many library events that have a fee (associated with supplies or speaker fees)
  • Friends receive emails about Library news and events

History

The Friends of the Burnham Library was formed in 1987 by a group of Colchester residents who wanted to volunteer their time, energy, and fundraising talents to benefit the Burnham Memorial Library. Since then the Friends organization has actively supported the Library through a variety of fundraising and advocacy activities.

Endowments

Endowments to the Friends ensure a bright future for the Burnham Memorial Library. 

  • Did you know you can name the Friends of the Library in your will? 
  • Bequests to the Friends are gratefully accepted and will fund future library endeavors 
  • The renovations to the Meeting House Lower Level made in 2019 were made possible by a generous bequest to the Friends by the Estate of Sarah Crocker, for which we are extremely grateful.

Recent Projects Funded

  • Weekly Preschool Music Program
  • Weekly Adult Yoga
  • Summer Reading Program Performers & Special Presentation
  • Additional Downloadable Audio & E-Books
  • Little Free Libraries
  • Bike Ferry Passes
  • Anime Club
  • Summer Concert Series
  • Gingerbread Houses

Join the Friends Planning Committee

  • We are a small group that plans and executes Friends activities with positions including President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Members-at-Large 
  • Annual events include the Summer Used Book Sale and Fall Annual Appeal 
  • We welcome community members who want to contribute their time and talents 
  • Teen representatives are always welcome (great community service!)

Want More Information?

By-Laws

ARTICLE I. NAME

Section 1. The name of the organization shall be: Friends of the Burnham Memorial Library.

ARTICLE II. PURPOSE

Section 1. The purpose of this organization shall be to maintain an association of persons interested in libraries; to focus public attention on the Burnham Library; to stimulate the use of the Burnham Library resources and services; to receive and encourage gifts, endowments and bequests to the Library; to support and cooperate with the Library in developing library services and facilities for the community; and to support programs and services deemed useful to the Library.

ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Any individual, family, business, firm, church, or social / civic group may become a member upon payment of dues. Annual dues and classes of membership shall be set by the Friends Board of Directors on a yearly basis at the Annual Meeting.

Section 2. Each individual, family, business, or group membership shall be entitled to one vote.

ARTICLE IV. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 1. The officers of this organization shall be governed by a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Membership Secretary. In addition, “at large” board members may be elected. The number of “at-large” officers of the Board will by determined by vote of the Board of Directors. These individuals shall constitute the Board of Directors. A member of the Library Board of Trustees and the Library Director shall be ex-officio members of the Board.

Section 2. Nominations for the officers of the Board may be made after November 1 of each year by mailing the written entry to the Friends of the Burnham Library to the attention of the Secretary of the Board of Directors.

Additional nominations may be made up to and including the day of the annual meeting. Election can only occur with the consent of the nominee.

Section 3. Officers shall be elected by majority vote of those present at the annual meeting for the term of one year. Vacancies occurring during the year shall be filled by the Board by majority vote.

ARTICLE V. DUTIES OF OFFICERS

Section 1. President: To preside over and conduct meetings and to appoint all committees and be an ex-officio member thereof.

Section 2. Vice-President: To perform the duties of the President in the absence of the President.

Section 3. Treasurer: To keep and maintain the financial records of the organization; to pass these records on to the subsequent Treasurer.

Section 4. Secretary: To record attendance and take the minutes at all meetings; to conduct the business correspondence of the organization, to pass a record of the minutes on to the next Secretary.

Section 5. Membership Secretary: To keep and maintain membership records; to conduct social correspondence of the organization; to pass current membership records on to the next Membership Secretary.

ARTICLE VI. MEETINGS

Section 1. An annual meeting shall be held during the month of January on a date to be determined by the Board of Directors. Members shall be notified through publication in the local newspaper, posting in the Burnham Library, and on the library website, at least two weeks prior to the date of the meeting.

Section 2. Regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held at their discretion, as needed.

Section 3. A majority vote of those present shall be necessary to enact any business to come before an annual or regular meeting.

Section 4. Amendments to these By-Laws may be made at any meeting of the general membership by a two-thirds vote of those present, after notification in writing to each member at least two weeks before the meeting at which the voting is to take place.

ARTICLE VII. DISSOLUTION

Upon dissolution, the surplus assets of the Friends shall be distributed as the Board of Directors decides: either directly to the Burnham Memorial Library or to the Board of Trustees of the Burnham Library.

Revised and Approved April 16, 2007.

The Friends of the Burnham Library is a 501(c)3 non-profit membership organization comprised of volunteers dedicating to supporting life-long learning in the community. All contributions are tax-deductible.