2021 Annual Appeal

The Bixby Library’s Annual Appeal

November 2021

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As we approach this holiday season, we’re reminded of just how grateful we are for the support of individual donors like you, and how you’ve helped us remain a beacon of comfort and hope.

The Bixby Library continued to serve the needs of our community while we were forced to keep the building closed to the public last winter and then blossomed when we reopened our doors again in May. 

  • We quickly expanded our digital offerings to serve people in the safety of their homes  
  • Readers of all ages ordered books online to pick up in the vestibule
  • We checked in on older patrons and delivered books to them
  • We loaded our biweekly newsletter with updates and resources and reasons to connect and smile 
  • Friends and families enjoyed the second annual outdoor movie night series over the summer 
  • We kept the popular StoryWalk trail along Falls Park throughout the winter and into the spring, featuring beautifully illustrated books along with “wondering questions”
  • We loaned snowshoes for the first time last winter, plowing the way for more items this year 
  • Our treasured Historical Collections benefitted from the care of experienced volunteers
  • We contributed to research and created exhibits about Vermont’s first black sheriff, Stephen Bates of Vergennes, now showing in our lobby and Community Room
  • Preschoolers and their caregivers from every Bixby town delighted in weekly story times, music, and take-and-make crafts, bringing life to the Vergennes Green as the weather warmed
  • We tripled attendance at Evening Programs that ranged from: 
    • “Sourdough Bread Making” with Brot Bakery to “Zero Waste Tips and Tricks”
    • Charlie Nardozzi’s “No-Dig Gardening” to Caleb Kenna’s astounding “Drone Photography”
    • “Bringing Your Casual Birding Up a Notch” with VT Audubon Society to Book Talks with local authors Cathie Keenan and Christina Caniyo
  • Subject-Matter Experts presented sessions on:
    • Medicare Made Clear, Financial Literacy and Mentoring, First Time Home Buying, Demystifying Death, Tenants Rights and Responsibilities
  • Tweens and Teens attended a growing number of new programs:
    • Teen Zine Making, Youth Writing Club, Making Spaces for Pollinators, Teen Tie-Dye
  • Generous sponsors, donors and attendees helped the fabulous 2021 Gala Committee host our most successful fundraiser to date, timed just when it was safest and we were all more than ready to eat, dance, and be merry

And that’s not all…

We have our sights set on even more outreach and impact as we look to 2022 and beyond.

Our aspirations at the library are growing as the needs and potential to serve the people in our community grow – at every stage of life and across all walks of life and circumstances.

  • Transform our grounds to include accessible outdoor gathering spaces, gardens, and pathways
  • Establish and grow a lending library of tools, audio-visual equipment, recreational equipment, bikes, and more
  • Create a makerspace for “STEAM”-related programing for all ages
  • Expand our delivery of library services and resources beyond our doors to other community spaces and gatherings, and to those who may be unable to come to the library
  • Create dedicated storage space for our historical objects from which to create engaging exhibits with associated artwork and book recommendations throughout the library
  • Develop hands-on Story Kits with and for teachers and students to bring our local history to life
  • Provide monthly book replenishment to the local Little Free Libraries and help build new ones
  • Pursue grants and gifts to augment local resources to achieve our priorities
  • Continue creative collaborations with local organizations including the Boy’s and Girl’s Club, the Vergennes Partnership, The Rotary Club, The Rokeby Museum, Vergennes Recreation and Public Works Departments, The Ferrisburgh Meeting House, Town and City officials, local Historical Societies, the DAR Strong House, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Addison County Libraries, Zig Zag Lit Magazine, local book clubs, and The Friends of the Bixby Library
  • And yes, more great books!
  • Other ideas or suggestions?  We’d love to hear from you.

We ask you to become part of what we hope will be an outpouring of goodwill to support this iconic and beloved library—the welcoming gathering and cultural center for the residents and visitors in our five-town community—from the shores of Lake Champlain, through our Little City, across the farm-filled Valley to the rolling foothills of the Green Mountains.

Thank you for your generosity—past, present, and future.  Every donation matters and every dollar counts.

With warm regards and much appreciation,

Catharine Findiesen Hays, Library Director                                                  Erin Roche, President, Board of Trustees