Writers, Fayetteville Library Needs You

The Fayetteville Library, one of the finest local libraries in the nation, is up against the wire in raising the 2011 portion of a $2 million NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) matching grant.

The library’s fundraising foundation received a challenge grant in 2005 which pledged to match every $3 raised locally with $1. Every year the library foundation must meet a fundraising benchmark. This year’s benchmark is $600,000 and it must be in the coffers by August 15. Local benefactors have met most of the amount for 2011, but the library is still about $90,000 short.

The money from this endowment will go towards setting up an on-going local endowment dedicated to raising local awareness of the humanities.

What are the “humanities?” The 1965 National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act defines the humanities as including “the study of literature, ethics, history, philosophy, archaeology, religion, language, linguistics, and the arts.”

Anyone who has been paying attention knows that our public schools and universities are cutting back on instruction in these very aspects of civilization.

If you are a writer, you have a stake in what the Fayetteville Library is trying to accomplish.

According to Kim Ratliff, president of the Fayetteville Friends of the Library–who, by the way have raised $75,000 for this year’s drive–has this to say:

If every library cardholder pledges just $1 toward the humanities endowment, we would achieve our goal this year.”

According to its 2010 annual report, the Fayetteville library has about 65,000 cardholders.

I challenge every writer in NW Arkansas to contribute at least $5 to the Fayetteville Library’s drive. More if you can afford it.

You can contribute online.

Tell them that ArkansasWriters.com sent you.

Maeve Maddox writes about English usage and public education at AmericanEnglishDoctor.com/. Her most recent publication is The Fabergé Flute, a cozy mystery novel set in 1980s London.

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