Once upon a time, just a couple of years ago… I became a Friend of the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library. My motives were simple: (1) wipe away guilt from losing a book several years earlier and (2) gaining early access to the library book sales. Occasionally, I will receive a "please send us money" letter, but today I received something different. The letter was from the president of the library board explaining that while some bad decisions had been made while planning the new library, things have turned around and I shouldn’t be worried about the future of the library. It’s worth adding that the letter was in response to an article in the Indianapolis Star.
If I ever (and I mean ever) send a letter to a very large group of people that reads as defensively as the letter I received today, I will no longer have a trace of credibility. While I’m sure the person writing the letter had great intentions, it only served to raise my suspicions. I hadn’t read the article until today. The measly $40 that I donated to the library covered first-class postage 102 letters. $50 million over budget doesn’t even sound possible.
"The Foundation will continue to safeguard your investment and work closely with the Library’s experienced staff to provide educational, cultural, and community-based programs." That $40 investment would have been better used to pay a temp a couple of hours to reduce the mailing list or something.
P.S. – I love the library and can’t wait until the new building is open. I’ll give the new president credit. He responded (and quickly at that). The letter still wasn’t necessary.