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Friends of Lincoln Library donate $39,498.46 to city to keep services going

By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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The Carnegie Library will remain open for the rest of the fiscal year, thanks to a $25,789 from the Friends of the Lincoln Library. An additional $13,709.46 was donated with the “stipulation” made by the Friends of the Lincoln Library that the funds will be used for Mother Goose on the Loose, Read for the Record and Read Across American programs and to keep the Carnegie open for the rest of the year. “I want to preface what I’m going to say by saying yes, we can live without libraries, but at what expense?,” Friends of the Lincoln Library member Shirley Russell said Tuesday to City Council. “I would like to bring forward what the Friends are able to do. The city has had in their coffers the amount of $25,789 and that money is being released by the Friends to keep the Carnegie open.” Russell said the $13,709.46 was collected by the Friends of the Lincoln Library from a variety of sources, such as businesses, organizations and people. “I’d like to thank Shirley and the Friends of the Lincoln Library because it’s times like these that show what the community needs,” City Councilman Spencer Short said. Mayor Tom Cosgrove said Lincoln was in a similar situation that they’re in today, financially, when he first joined the City Council 16 years ago. “The city was broke and the operation of the library was handed over to the Friends of the Lincoln Library, and they took on that responsibility. They were able to put the funds together to keep the library open,” Cosgrove said. “I think that some of those folks we know literally that contributed are no longer with us, and I think we ought to remember that and should understand that those people have a sincere love for the community. It’s a Carnegie library, and people have put in their heart and soul.” Cosgrove added that the money donated by the Friends is to “supplement money we have budgeted, not to replace it.”