Emo Public Library appeals for financial donations; in danger of closing its doors


The Emo Public Library has put out an urgent plea for help, to keep the doors open for the remainder of 2023.

In a public letter posted to Facebook, CEO/Librarian Nicholas Donaldson states that, “due to unforeseen costs in 2023, the Emo Public Library is in desperate need of monetary donations to keep our doors open and to continue to serve the community.”

According to the letter, rising material, labour and utility costs as well as unexpected costs, have left a shortfall.

“There are plans to run the library in 2024, now that we have a better idea of where we will stand, but to get there we first need to cover our costs for this year. If we are unable, we will be forced to close our doors for the remainder of 2023,” stated the letter.

“Money is tight and no-one likes to beg, but we need your donations to stay open,” said the letter. “It is difficult to overstate how dire our situation is.”

A closure would have far-reaching impacts on the community, noted the letter.

“The library is an invaluable community resource and having to close would impact not just book-borrowers, but everyone who relies on the library for vital computer access, printing, photocopying, and faxing important documents, reference information and those who need a free place to spend some time – for any reason.”

Residents and supporters are asked to stop in or call the library to donate. Tax receipts can be issued. Residents are also urged to keep an eye out on the library’s website and Facebook page for upcoming fundraisers and events. The library is also open to the formation of a Friends of the Library organization, similar to neighbouring libraries, which could organize fundraising events and support the library.

The library can be found on Facebook at Emo Public Library, or online at emo.ca/emo-public-libary. Its phone number is 807-482-2575, e-mail is emolib@bellnet.ca, or stop by in person at 36 Front Street, in Emo.

How are libraries funded?

Although libraries are funded largely through taxes, most libraries in the region already have vibrant and active “Friends of” organizations, which work as a support to their corresponding library boards, including Fort Frances and Dryden. Anyone interested in stepping up to help form a Friends of the Library group for Emo is urged to step forward. Direct financial donations are also commonly accepted at libraries. The Atikokan Library openly solicits direct donations through e-transfer. The Fort Frances Library awards anyone who gives a direct donation over $125, fine-free status for a year. Most libraries are charitable organizations, and can provide tax receipts; Emo can also supply tax receipts for donations. Even larger centres openly solicit monetary donations. The Hamilton Public Library accepts credit card payments online. The Toronto Public Library accepts financial donations through a Foundation, and has a very active Friends of the Library organization, which has raised $2.5 million through the operation of multiple used book stores, to help fund library services.