by Justin Kree
ALPINE - Library Journal and the Gates Foundation awarded the Alpine Public Library as one of the best small libraries in America for 2012. With the library being a non-profit organization, they need your help to keep people reading in the Big Bend region.
Computer skills classes, English and Spanish tutoring classes and citizenship preparation classes are some of the programs offered at the Alpine Public Library. The library relies on grants, but more importantly, on donations from the public to keep their doors open.
"We have to raise about 70% of our budget every year," Delaney said.
Paige Delaney is the Executive Director for the library. She says the more volunteers the library gets, the more grant money could come flowing in.
"There's are always new folks coming into town who don't realize that we are not a city or county library. We depend on them for so much of our support. A lot of granting foundations look at the amount of volunteer support and local support a non-profit has and the more activity they see, the more likely they are to help out," Delaney said.
There is a reused book store in the library which is run by volunteers. The profit from that store helps with operating costs. The public can purchase a specialized brick for the landscaping around the library as well.
Overall, fundraising events are helping to keep the library out of the red.
"We're not in a crisis situation yet. The organization itself is in good shape but we do have a very ambitious budget. In order to do all the things we want to do for our patrons and provide all the services that they need, we really have to stay on our toes," Delaney said.
If you would like to volunteer your time, you can go to the library and fill out a volunteer sheet. You can also go online to their website at