Friday, November 14, 2014

Giving Tuesday

After the traditional day of family togetherness and gluttony that is the fourth Thursday in November, and the somewhat newer traditions of commercial mayhem that are the following Friday and Monday, the non-profit community has thoughtfully proposed “Giving Tuesday.”  Giving Tuesday is conceived as a day to express the sentiments of the season through philanthropic gestures—and particularly various instant electronic ways of giving.

Giving Tuesday has been growing steadily since its creation in 2012.  The number of not-for-profits participating in 2013 grew to 10,000 from 2,500 in the first year; online activity was intense, as in the previous year, but the day also got coverage in print and broadcast media last year. #GivingTuesday trended #1 on twitter for the day, and the “unselfie”—in which you take a picture of someone in the act of giving back—was born.   And of course, collectively the not-for-profit sector raised substantially more money.

You will be hearing more and more about Giving Tuesday in the days ahead, and there are many worthy and important causes seeking to encourage your spontaneous outpouring of generosity.  But we would like to make the case for Benjamin Franklin’s library among them.  By carefully conserving the printed history of this nation and others—and making it available to the public free of charge—we are preserving essential cultural treasures. The true meaning of this work hits home to us when we our visitors are awed and moved by the collections—and when their scholarship, artistic creation, or public history work carries their insights out into the larger world. 

So we would like to ask that this Giving Tuesday, you help us continue to provide sustenance for the spirit by supporting the work of rare book and manuscript conservation. Click here today to get an early start on your own celebration of a new tradition of generosity.

On December 2, we will try to raise $2,500 to support the purchase of conservation materials for three months. The delicate rice papers, bookbinding cloth, and acid-free housings that your gift will support are the keys to preserving our previous collection materials for generations of scholars and visitors.  So your gift will directly contribute to the ability of future generations to come face to face with their cultural heritage.

But there are many other ways to express your generosity toward the Library Company.  Help us spread the news about our campaign by forwarding this message, like us on Facebook and forward our Giving Tuesday post, or send a #GivingTuesday tweet with the hashtag #LCPbooksmatter.

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