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Article updated: 7/9/2012 9:41 PM

Cook Memorial library to launch fundraising campaign

Focus of campaign will be on e-readers

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Cook Memorial Public Library District officials are preparing to launch a new fundraising campaign they hope will generate more than $100,000 for the facilities in Libertyville and Vernon Hills.

"It's a nice round number," library board member Nate Johnson said during a development committee meeting Monday night at the Libertyville library. "People can relate to it."

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Committee members kicked around ideas with library Director Stephen Kershner and public relations manager Gabriella Pantle during the free-flowing talk.

Board members initially talked about raising money to reduce the debt the district incurred when it borrowed $14 million to build the Vernon Hills library and expand the Libertyville facility. But at the urging of board member Wendy Vieth, the goal turned to more concrete concepts such as e-readers patrons could borrow.

Raising money for tangible products might be easier, Vieth argued, because purchasing such hardware is an easier concept to understand. Johnson agreed.

"It's hard to rally the troops around future fiscal responsibility," he said. "It's not exciting."

Board member Tom Milowski asked if money should be raised to purchase a second bookmobile.

"Is there enough demand for that?" he said.

If a second mobile library is in the district's future, Milowski also suggested seeking corporate sponsorship for the vehicle.

By the end of the meeting, everyone was talking about e-readers, which some libraries have for patron use. Kershner said he'd like to have dozens for Cook Memorial customers.

Once the plans for the fundraising drive are finalized, information will be added to the district's website, cooklib.org.

Meanwhile, staffers continue selling commemorative bricks and memorial books and trees, and they also take general donations.

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