“How did you pay for the improvements?”

“Does this mean you’ll have less to give less to the Library?”

“Was it really necessary?”

These are some of the questions we’ve been asked lately as we worked through the renovations of our Friends Book Shop. So while we’ve been counting down the days to our Grand Re-Opening, we wanted to take today to count our blessings and explain how it all came about.

First, the renovation is fully paid for by the Friends of the Troy Public Library and was not financed or completed at the expense of any taxpayer. As a non-profit organization, we are not connected to the City or the City finances. None of the funding generated by our TPL millage is filtered through the Friends.

Moreover, deciding to spend money on ourselves was difficult. We typically only spend money to cover costs of our website, our phone service, necessary supplies to run our Book Shop and Gift Shop, and modest marketing/membership materials. The rest of what we earn is donated to the TPL. However, the Friends received a generous gift a few years back from the estate of a member and Library patron that allowed us to complete our renovation while continuing to give the majority of our revenues back to the Library. To be clear, we don’t have enough to fund an extra day of service as some have jokingly suggested we do, but we are happy to provide the programming and other enhancements the TPL community deserves and loves!

Finally, while our “before” space certainly allowed us to conduct business, many of the shelves and display units – initially donated from the upstairs public spaces – were over thirty years old and becoming increasingly dilapidated and possibly dangerous. A broken bracket here, a rickety table there, and we knew we had to finally make some changes. When the Library announced a closure to replace carpeting, we seized the opportunity to update.

And here we are today, on the eve of our Grand Re-Opening. We are thrilled with how the Book Shop looks, and we look forward to many more years of providing quality materials to all our patrons.

See you at the Library!

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