Mississauga Gives: Giving Tuesday

Mississauga Friends of the Library is partaking in Giving Tuesday, on Tuesday, December 1st, 2015.

This is a social movement that aims to counter-act some of the materialism and commercialism with a little philanthropy.  You can check out the Mississauga Gives website here.  You can donate your time by volunteering, donate money to any number of charities–the list is endless.  Fill out their “Unselfie” and post your photo!  This helps other people get ideas about how they can contribute.

(By the way, while we certainly hope you’ll donate time/money/books/etc.  to Friends of the Library, we also recommend you check out all the other charities.  Mississauga needs them all.)

Mississauga Gives sent us a form to fill out: we’ve answered the questions below.

• What does your organization do and how can people support your cause?

We raise money to support the Mississauga Library System. The library is not only a place for books: it provides social and educational support to all members of the community.

We gratefully accept financial donations; we also have a used-book sale at Central Library, and accept gently-used books, dvds and audio books for this sale.

Friends of the Library is run by volunteers. We are always looking for people who like books to join us on Wednesday and Saturday mornings at Central Library, to help with the book sales. We also need people to help us with social media, advertising and fundraising.

• What is the history of your cause and organization?

Founded in 1989, the Friends of the Mississauga Library System is a volunteer, non-profit, citizens’ organization. We promote literacy, and extend the programs and services of the library system within our community. Books and other published materials are on sale at the Central and all seventeen branches of the library.

• What is your organization’s future plans or goals?

At a time when the libraries are underfunded and being shut down, we would like to continue providing for the library—which then provides for the citizens of Mississauga.
One of our immediate goals is to join the leagues of online booksellers.

• What has your organization achieved since being established?

2014 [was] the 25th anniversary of the founding of The Friends of the Mississauga Library System. For the past quarter century, the Friends have provided ongoing financial support to the Library as it has grown with Mississauga and adapted to serve a larger and more diverse population. In addition to providing funding to assist with programs and collections, the Friends’ support has expanded to include furnishings for new and renovated branch libraries, equipment to facilitate access to library materials (from wheeled walkers to technology for the visually impaired), author visits, toy and board game collections, environmental backpacks and bus trips for schoolchildren to their local branch library. Our mandate has also encompassed literacy (our support of the Peel Literacy Conference, the Mississauga Spelling Bee, and an annual night to recognize local authors) and library education (the Jim Wilde Library Education Award, which is available to selected Mississauga residents who are pursuing a career in libraries).

–Michael Jones, Board President

• Why is your organization needed?

“Needed”? Well, we deal with libraries, which are technically not needed, as they don’t provide air, water or food.

But what happens to urban communities that don’t support literacy; what happens to their children, their artists, their marginalised citizens? What happens to families who find themselves under financial or emotional stress and have no place to find a little peace and quiet? What happens to those who find solace in books but can’t afford them?

We know what happens, and it’s ugly. That’s why civilisations, since the beginning of recorded history, have supported literacy and libraries.

We’re not supporting books. We’re supporting people.

• Why do your donors support you?

The financial donors support us because they appreciate all that libraries provide for our society.

The volunteers support us because we’re all bookworms who like nothing better than to bond with other bookworms (when we have to take our noses out of our books, of course).

• Tell us a story that demonstrates the impact of your organization OR tell us the story of a donor.

A regular book-sale customer arrives with two bags of books to donate.

“My wife says I have to stay within the boundaries of the bookcases we have, and the grandchildren’s books are taking up a lot of space.”

He leaves with three bags of books.


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