Lioness (elisem) wrote in nemesis_draco,

memorial: the John M. Ford Book Endowment fund

Mike was a member of the Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library for many years. Two-and-a-half weeks ago, he and I went to the new library so he could show me around. (It was funny; he was half grumpy because he didn't have memorized where everything was yet, but almost as proud of the new building as if he had built it himself.)

Last week, in the midst of all the chaos and immediate practical concerns, I stopped down at the Friends office to ask about the possiblities for memorial donations. Doing something for the library -- where he pretty much lived when he wasn't at home -- seemed the right sort of thing. The Friends were grateful. They accept donations through PayPal, as well as by mail or phone. When I told them who exactly Mike was and why the library mattered so much to him, they suggested starting a special named memorial endowment fund to purchase books.

The Friends Book Endowments are set up to be interest-generating funds rather than one-time piles of money that are spent down to zero and then gone. An endowment fund lives on and yields money for new books every year. Linda K. Merritt at the Friends office told me how it works:
For every $500 dollars deposited in the endowment funds, the Friends purchase a book for the library system annually with the interest earned on the endowment. This really is the gift that keeps on giving. You can specify what genre or library location/branch the books are intended for. Some people just specify “where most needed”. We prepare bookplates and have them inserted in each book before they are shelved. Patrons will see Mike’s name each time the book is opened! I think it is important for people to know that these funds are ‘permanently restricted’ to the annual purchase of books. The money will never be diverted to other use.

They said they'd have a special PayPal button built for it by Monday. What they didn't tell me was that they are putting it up on their homepage. So there it is. It made me cry happy to see it. I know Mike would be glad of it. (And yes, they have been informed about the typo. Probably about fifty times by now, knowing Mike's fans and friends. I keep wishing I could hear what himself would have to say about it.)

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