“It is a gift to the future.”
That is how King Public Library Board of Directors Chair Beth Carroll described a new endowment fund created to help sustain the King Public Library for generations to come. The endowment was officially unveiled at the annual library open house last week.
“It will ensure, as the endowment grows, that there will be extra funds available for the library from now on,” said Carroll. “We are hoping that with getting the word out, that folks will have a place where they can see their money actually being put to work. The idea came from Kay Phillips, who was chair of the board for many years.
“When she retired from the board we did a little something for her and there were some funds involved,” said Carroll. “She was really interested in letting some of that money be seed money for the endowment. We are very excited about it.”
“For me, it is the beginning of real security for the library for the future,” said Phillips. “As the principle grows and income grows it gives the library funds to do extra things that could not be done otherwise. The endowment is very small right now and it will take a while to grow, but an endowment says to the people and the community that there are people who believe this is a lasting entity.”
Librarian Ann Nichols said a generous gift from Marvin and Carolyn Gentry had allowed the library board to have enough funds to set up the new endowment for the library through the North Carolina Community Foundation.
Nichols said the library would be able to pull earnings from the endowment on an annual basis for library needs or reinvest those earnings to help the endowment grow.
“The more the endowment grows the more we will have on an annual basis,” she said, noting that the library plans to also ask the community to donate to the endowment to help grow it as quickly as possible. “Individuals who have heard about it through word of mouth have already come in with donations to the trust. They get a receipt from the foundation and the foundation makes me aware of the donations so I can send out thank you cards. It is all tax deductible.
“At some point we hope that we will have enough money in the endowment that when I am told we need to replace something there will be enough money from the earnings that we can purchase whatever we need right away,” she added.
“It will be several years before we pull anything out,” said Carroll. “Right now we just want to watch it grow and get bigger. The idea is to have it established and keep adding to it to let the interest build.”
Carroll noted that patrons now have options when giving to the library, they can either contribute to the Friends of the Library which helps with immediate needs like purchasing new books, or they can contribute to the endowment to help build funds for larger needs down the road.
“The Friends have already agreed to contribute $200 a year to the endowment,” she said.
King city officials said they fully supported the creation of an endowment for the library.
“It is very fiscally responsible of the library to be thinking ahead about future needs and setting up a fund that will be around for future generations,” said City Manager Homer Dearmin. “We are excited for them and looking forward to continuing the very positive relationship we have enjoyed with the library over the past several years.”
Mayor Jack Warren said the city would continue to support the library.
“We as a city should continue to help,” he said. “Even though they will have other funds coming in, that just makes it twice as good as what it is.”
Nichols said the new endowment fund can accept any variety of donations from small $5 donations to bequeaths of real estate.
“The foundation will handle the sale of the property and the funds will go into the endowment,” she said. “They can handle cash, securities, stocks, and life insurance donations. It is just a great way to provide a trust for the community’s library.”
She added that the new endowment will help with people who want to leave donations to the library in their will, or who would rather have friends and relatives donate to the library in lieu of flowers for funeral services.
“I can give them a pamphlet about King Public Library Endowment and they can take it to their attorney and he can set them up,” said Nichols. “This way their gift will be something that will last beyond anything you can imagine.”
Nichols said anyone interested in the endowment could pick up a brochure about it at the library, call to have a brochure mailed to them, or visit www.nccomuntyfoundation.org.
“They can make a donation to the endowment directly through that website,” she said. “People love their libraries and want to help. This is a way that they can be a part of helping the library for the community for years to come.”
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.