Prendergast Library Saves Endownment Funding

There is more positive financial news for the James Prendergast Library.

On Thursday, the board approved not withdrawing any funding from its endowment fund during the first financial quarter. Mike Corey, board treasurer, recommended not withdrawing funding from the endowment fund because the library has an estimated $322,000 in its checking account and more than $200,000 in its savings account.

“I don’t see a need to draw down from the endowment account,” he said.

Corey said if something unforeseen should happen, the board can always vote to withdraw funding from the endowment.

“We can always go back and withdraw on the board’s recommendation,” he said.

In the treasurer’s report, Corey also said the library lost about $15,000 in the stock market during a poor January. However, he said February has been a much stronger month for the market.

“It’s already popping back up in February,” he said.

Last month, Corey told the board the endowment fund increased last year by more than $900,000, going from an estimated $6.5 million to $7.4 million. He said during the first quarter of last year when the library had to shutdown because of the pandemic, the board withdrew an additional $94,000 from the endowment fund to assist in paying for facility operations. However, when the stock market stopped free falling and started to improve, the board didn’t withdraw any other additional non-budgeted funding from the endowment during the second, third and fourth financial quarters.

Corey said even with the shutdown of the library from March 15 to July 1 last year because of the pandemic, the library raised more money than originally budgeted. He said the library raised $89,000 during 2020, $15,000 more than what library officials estimated in last year’s budget.

In other business, Annie Greene, library executive director, said library officials have updated the employee handbook. She said the update was necessary because of new state labor laws dealing with sick time for part-time employees.

“There is now a better benefit for part-timers,” she said.

Greene said library officials received assistance in updating the employee handbook from Catchafire, which is a New York-based organization that makes connections between professional volunteers and nonprofits. Greene thanked the Sheldon Foundation for helping connect the library with Catchafire.

The board also heard a presentation from Oliver Chenard on the 3-D printers available for the public at the library. He said the library has three 3-D printers — a Replicator 2, Replicator Mini and a CubePro Duo. He added all the printers use Polylactic Acid, commonly known as PLA, and the CubePro Duo can also use Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, also known as ABS.

Chenard said the Replicator Mini is free for the public to use because the items are small and have little detail. He said if patrons want to use the Replicator 2 or the CubePro Duo, a library staff member will ask the size and weight of the item and will charge 7 cents an ounce. He added that the printer has been used to make objects like masks from Star Wars movies and a 3-D map of Jamestown for the Gebbie Foundation.


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