Annual Appeal, Endowment and Memorials

The Southwest Harbor Public Library is a free public library. This means that everyone who walks into the Library has access to full library services, which include borrowing privileges, program offerings, access to digital content, Internet use, and reference help from staff. The support of the community is vital to the Library. The Library is a 501©(3) Charitable Organization and all contributions are tax-deductible.

Annual Appeal

The Annual Appeal of the Library raises 45% of our funds. Each year, we ask the community to donate substantially to our operations, and each year some 700-800 generous people help us to reach our goal. For online giving please see our Donate Now page or our PDF form for Giving.

Endowment Fund

The Library has undertaken a continuing campaign to raise our historically modest endowment. Building the endowment is vital for the future financial security of the Library, and for providing improved services to the community. We draw 4% a year from the Endowment Fund, which is currently at two million dollars. Gifts are welcome at any time. Larger gifts will be recognized on our Endowment Wall. We also sponsor a Top Shelf Society that honors patrons who have left the Library in their will. Gifts can be in the form of bequests, memorials, or standard contributions. For online giving please see our Donate Now page. Click here to read about Planned Giving. Click here for a PDF form for Giving Securities.


The Library has a long tradition of receiving memorial gifts. These may be in memory of a family member, a friend, or a Library patron. Unless otherwise designated, we deposit all monetary memorial gifts in our endowment, as a permanent gift to the Library. For online giving please see our Donate Now page.

The taxpayers of the Town of Southwest Harbor generously vote each year at Town Meeting to give the Library an appropriation. Each year we are asked to make our case to the Town that the Library continues to be a vital community resource.

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Read about how the ladies of Southwest Harbor raised money in 1892 as described in a poem, “The Dollar Social at Southwest Harbor”.