Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Given Memorial Library: A Vestige of an Earlier Time

Pinehurst's private library faces expansion woes. (Fayetteville Observer, 7/10/2011)

Excerpt:  For one, the library is private. The Village Council contributes $20,000 a year, but the rest of its $289,000 operating budget comes from donations and the interest from the endowments given by Sarah Given Larson and Richard S. Tufts, the grandson of Pinehurst founder James Walker Tufts.

Opening another library building in another part of the village, would be prohibitively expensive for a library that operates on a shoestring budget, Moriarty said.

The Southern Pines Public Library, by contrast, has an annual budget of about $770,000 and more than 90 percent of its funding comes from town government.

By way of comparison, the Southern Pines library has more than 70,000 books and other materials available to patrons. The Given Memorial Library has about 15,000.

Pinehurst's library is a rare arrangement in the 21st century, when most communities have municipal or county public libraries that are funded by taxpayers, said James Carmichael, a historian of libraries at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro's Department of Library and Information Studies.

Privately funded libraries, usually founded by a local philanthropist, were common in the late 1800s, but most became taxpayer-funded in the 20th century, he said

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