Thursday, February 4, 2010

Letter to the Editor: read it and play!

The following has been submitted to local newspapers:

Dear Editor:

The Friends of the Dover Library is in full planning mode for the 5th Annual Dover Library Spelling Bee, our big spring fundraiser. Things are shaping up nicely - the word list is almost complete and donations are coming in - but we are still in need of teams to compete.

We are asking that all members of our community to consider being on a team to show their support of the library.

As you know, the Library is one of the most-loved and most-visited places in Dover. The library was recently (November '09) ranked as #7 in the nation and #1 in the state for libraries in towns the size of Dover. Part of that success is linked directly to community support.

What is not widely known is that Dover's Town budget does not pay for all of the books in the library. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires libraries to spend a certain percentage of their budget on books and materials in order to qualify for State Aid. Dover's municipal budget covers only a portion of that requirement, and the Friends pays for the rest. Without this support from volunteers and donors, our library would not be the library we all know and love.

The Friends (a 501c3 corporation) also pays for all of the programming that goes on at the Library (author nights, movies, children's events, the summer reading program), all of the free or low-cost museum passes available at the Circulation desk, and the other "extras" that we enjoy, such as magazine subscriptions and online databases. The Friends raises funds to provide these through its membership drive, the Holiday House Tour and the Spelling Bee.

The Bee will be held on Thursday, March 25th, from 7-9 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Town House.

As in years past, teams of three compete in preliminary rounds and then those winners face off in the final. You get to confer with your teammates and then a scribe writes down the team's response and all teams reveal their answers simultaneously to the audience and judges. The words are given in advance - so no excuses about not being a great speller! - and will be available by February 12 to teams with completed paperwork and paid entry fee.

The entry fee remains an anti-inflationary $300 per team, and each team may also purchase a $100 Mulligan to help them if they get in a bind. To help teams secure funding, this year the Friends has put together a letter that participants may send to their friends to solicit donations.

Remember: It is not about who wins the Bee. It is about coming together as a community so that the library wins - and thus so do we all.


Amelia Slawsby

President, Friends of the Dover Library

And the Bee Committee:

Jane Bleakley

Holly Collins, Trustee Liaison

Kate Haviland, Bee Chair

Anita Loscalzo

Jane Schmid
Take a bow, Mme President!

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