Louis T. Graves Memorial Library, Kennebunkport Maine
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If you would like to donate to our Annual Fund Drive, please send your contribution to: Annual Fund Drive, Louis T. Graves Memorial Public Library, P.O. Box 391, Kennebunkport, ME 04046 OR click on the "Donate" button on this page and submit your contribution via our secure PayPal account. You will receive a hand-written receipt of your donation.

Dear Friends:

Not long ago, Kay Beote sat in the Graves Library Children’s Room reading The Cat In The Hat to her daughter, her granddaughter, and two of her great-grandchildren. The mere fact that four generations of a family can come together in this very special space and share an experience so positive and personally enriching is a testament to the enduring role that the Louis T. Graves Memorial Public Library plays in our community.  Yet this has been a year not without significant challenges for the Library.

Our request for funding from the Town was ultimately approved at Town Meeting in June following a unanimous recommendation from both the Budget Board and the Board of Selectmen. However, the process stumbled initially as the Selectmen held an early vote not to support the Library in an amount sufficient to maintain the current level of services.  The decision seemed to involve some confusion regarding the Library’s access to its endowment and the role that a permanent endowment serves in a charitable organization such as the Library. Senior staff and Library Trustees have since worked diligently to reach out to Town officials and the public at large to reiterate that the amount sought from the Town represents the bare minimum necessary to meet its expenses without invading restricted funds. 

Earlier this summer, the Library’s budget was also impacted when anticipated income from the sale of used books fell off due to an unexpected closure of the Perkins House during peak season.  As most of you know, the Perkins House, which sits immediately behind the main Library building, serves as both a regular public meeting space as well as the repository for the used book sales.  These sales on an annual basis make up as much as 20% of the Library’s income.  However, mold was discovered in the Perkins House and a decision was made not to utilize the building further until environmental testing could confirm that removal of contaminated books and other remedial measures had fully addressed the problem.  While the Perkins House has since reopened, the Library Trustees are actively evaluating whether or not this antiquated structure physically separated from the iconic main brick building should continue to be utilized in the same manner it has in the past.

The Board of Trustees is optimistic that necessary changes are for the long term best interest of the Library and its many patrons.  Obstacles are merely opportunities to educate the public about our needs and inspire our patrons. We are committed to ensuring that the services provided remain at the highest levels possible despite the ever expanding role the Library plays in people’s lives. But of course the Library needs the support--financial and otherwise--of the community it serves.  If you’ve given to Graves in the past or included us as part of your estate plan, thank you.  If you haven’t yet done so, I hope you will consider making a gift to our annual fund.  Graves Library is an organization of which you can be very proud.  It simultaneously represents the past, present, and future of this community by preserving its most important traditions and inspiring and educating our children.  Help us to ensure that Kay Beote’s great-grandchildren will one day come back to read to their children in this same very special space.


Christian L. Barner, President


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