Frequently Asked Questions

What will the Endowment Do?

  • Assist the Townsend Public Library in providing the widest possible range of informational, educational and cultural services.

  • Endowment funds will supplement but cannot replace funds appropriated by the town.

  • Possible uses of Endowment funds include:

    • Sponsorship of art exhibits, musical programs, author visits and demonstrations;
    • Expansion of the book, audio book and movie collections;
    • Investment in information technologies to provide the latest research, communication and computing tools; and, provide program enhancements for people of all ages.

How Can Help?

  • Every donation is important. Each person can play a part to help create this permanent legacy for Townsend.

  • Gifts can be made to the Endowment in a number of ways including:

    • Direct contributions (either an outright gift or a pledge paid over several years);
    • Direct monthly withdrawals from bank accounts or via credit card is available
    • Gifts in honor or in memory of someone
    • Long-term securities, stocks or bonds; and, gifts of real estate or personal property such as jewelry, artwork, coins or rare books.  

How much should I pledge?

  • Whatever is right for you and your family

  • So far gifts have ranged from $3 to more than $100,000

  • Our most frequent level of giving has been $1000. This roughly corresponds to todays value of the $3 donated by Townsend families in 1858.

  • Tables 1 and 2 provide monthly breakdowns for several giving levels.

  • Table 3 provides some examples of the savings libraries can provide to families. (You can calculate your own savings on the Townsend Library Website:




Table 1. Analysis of a Major 5-year Pledge by Year, Month and Week

Total Pledge



Cost per year



Cost per month



Cost per week



Table 2. Examples of Monthly Pledges Building Toward 5-Year Totals

Pledge per month

Yearly Total

5-year total



























Table 3. Value of Library Services

Library service


Based On

Adult book borrowed

$17.00 average price

Children/Young Adult book borrowed

$12.00 average price

Video borrowed


Blockbuster average price

Audio Book borrowed

$9.95 download average

Magazine browsed


Estimated average purchase price

Hour of computer use


Fed-Ex Kinkos price

Source:  Massachusetts Library Association, values updated September 2008