By Gabriella Galloway
Entirely East Lansing
New technology will be added to the children’s area of the East Lansing Public Library with proceeds coming from the fifth annual Books, Bites and Bids fundraising event on Friday, April 29.
According to Jennifer Amormino, executive assistant to the library director, the type of new technology that will be put in will be determined by the funds raised at the event. This new technology will be installed after the library reconstruction.
“We’ll be adding in early literacy stations that include some new interactive technologies like iPads, and the money raised during Books, Bites & Bids will go towards enhancing that — in particular, we’ll be able to buy things like new desktop computers, software and programs, furniture, etc,” said Eva Weihl, youth services librarian.
Due to reconstruction at the library, this year’s event will be held at the Hannah Community Center.
“It is a great way for the community to get together and be able to support the library,” said Amormino.
The event started five years ago when the library needed technology that it didn’t have the budget for. The Books, Bites, and Bids fundraiser was one of the ideas that was used to raise this money, said Amormino.
The fundraiser has grown in its success, raising $8,000 in the first year and reaching its goal of $20,000 last year. According to Amormino, this year’s goal is to get to the $20,000 mark again.
Auction items, donated by local businesses and community members, include tickets to the East Lansing Aquatic Center, a one night stay at The English Inn, a weekend stay at The East Lansing Marriott, gift certificates to Beggar’s Banquet and a one-year membership to The Potter Park Zoo.
According to Amormino, Buffalo Wild Wings and Vicki’s Grand Grillin, a food truck from the Lansing area, have donated food to serve as hors d’oeuvres at the fundraiser. Face painting for kids will also be offered.
Eric Parr, a library employee, will be entertaining for part of the event with some music on the piano. Now Know Quintet will finish off the event with their own music. Amormino said they have played at the event for free for the past five years.
“Everything is donated, so it’s a really great fundraiser for us because we have very minimal costs,” said Amormino.
From 5:30 to 9 p.m. community members are encouraged by the library to come out and take part in this event to contribute to advancing technology for children. Community members can make a tax-deductible donation before the event at the library website, the ELPL Circulation Desk, or at the night of the event.
“Essentially, by providing an updated early literacy area for our very young patrons that is fun, attractive, and enriching, we’re helping set up the children we serve for a lifetime of reading and learning,” said Weihl.
Editors note: The story has been updated with comments from Eva Weihl, the East Lansing Public Library youth services librarian.