Friends of Westborough Public Library seek book sale donations

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To the Editor:

The Friends of the Westborough Public Library are currently seeking donations for our upcoming May book sale, which will take place beginning May 17th through May 20th. As a non-profit charitable organization that uses the proceeds raised to benefit our library and the patrons it serves, we have always been very grateful to be in a community that so generously supports our efforts.

We are writing to you as we have become a bit concerned about a general confusion that seems to exist about other entities that are requesting “Donations” of books. As recently as April 23, 2012, Mitch Lipka, author of the “Consumer Alert” column in the Telegram Gazette was specifically asked if GotBooks.com is a charitable organization. As Mr. Lipka's article reflects, although GotBooks does pay a very small amount of money to churches and other groups who allow these “Donation” bins on their property, “These are businesses, not charities….” In short, GotBooks is a for-profit business; “Donations” given to GotBooks are sold in its UsedBook Superstore for large, undisclosed profits.

As a non-profit charitable corporation, the Friends of the Westborough Public Library depend on the public to raise money to fulfill its purposes. These purposes include: stimulating the use of the library's resources and services; sponsoring programs designed to add to the cultural life of the community; providing direct financial assistance by purchasing items for the library that are special and unusual (i.e. not included in the library's budget); supporting and enlarging the library's services to the community; and providing passes for museums which can be loaned to library patrons.

Through your generous donations we are proud to have been able to expand enrichment programs, supported the town-wide reading initiative, provided a bubbler for the children's room foyer, and much more. We hope that you will continue to give our group, which is a recognized 501 (c) 3 charitable organization, the support we count on to continue to work to improve our Library. Finally, if you are not sure if you are donating to a charity, ask if your donation is tax-deductible. Donations to the Friends are tax-deductible, to the extent allowed under the applicable law. “Donations” to GotBooks are not.

Thank you for your support,

The Friends of the Westborough Public Library