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the John M. Ford Book Endowment fund
elf hill
Mike was a member of the Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library for many years. Many of us have been given wonderful gifts he spotted in the Friends bookstore. He spent a lot of time in the library, and always stopped by the bookstore on his way out. 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. It seemed to me and a number of Mike's friends that doing something for the library (where he pretty much lived when he wasn't at home) was the right sort of thing. The Friends were grateful. They told me 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.

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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brilliant. i really like direct donations via paypal, it makes it so easy to do it right here and now.

(and yes, nice typo :).

Missing "w" or no, that's a fine fine thing. (And they spelled Mike's name right, which is the important part.)

I hope you don't mind, but I posted a link to this post in my own journal to let more folks know about this.


Excellent. Many thanks!

does mike have a chair?

No, I don't think so. Chair? They're doing chairs? That could be cool.

How appropriately cool.

That is a really wise way for them to set it up, and from the little my path crossed with Mike, I'd have to say it seems very fitting.

I'll let my sister sophonisba know about this, since she's a Minneapolis resident.

I'm always happy to support a public library, but especially now.

(Deleted comment)

Re: You don't know me . . .

go to the LJ community nemesis_draco--the link is there!

Re: You don't know me . . .

In my doctoral thesis (chemistry), I included a relevant literary quotation on the first page of each chapter. The Introduction section got a passage from How Much For Just The Planet?: "My name is Flyter. Hi there." ... "Oh, are you still here?" It just seemed to be appropriate. I made sure that I checked with the authors first -- just in case -- and Mike was very kind about it.


That's very cool of them to do. Clicky button makes money go! (By which I mean donating to libraries is good, and I have now done so.)

Excellent! And I didn't need a paypal account to make a donation--the system accepts a credit card payment.

I have a question. How do you feel about people donating to our local libraries as opposed to this fund? I am torn.

Let a thousand libraries bloom.

Heck, multiple remembrances are how I do it. Also, forward in all directions.

Oh, of course. I'll be splitting my donation: to the memorial fund and to my local, lovely, tiny library.

If no one else has got 'round to it, I'll announce this over on mnstf and on the Natter and Events email lists. I'll also try to remember it at the next business meeting.

I suspect LASFS already knows, but I'm sending this on to someone (Richard Foss) who will make sure it's mentioned at this Thursday's meeting...

That's great--I know Richard will pass along the good word!

I know this comes a little late, but I wanted to let you know that I remember you fondly from alt.poly a decade or so ago, and I am so very very sorry for your loss.

That is so cool. I just posted about it, and included a link. Scalzi is a really good guy.

I've posted a pointer in my LJ. Also to Scalzi's auction.

what if i want to send the library a bunch of firebird books?

Find the name of the person in charge of collection development for the particular area (young adult?) (you can also just call the main number and ask for the person who does book selection for X area), and speak to them about making a targeted "in memory of" donation (as a publisher). They may want to approve the final list (to ensure that everythign you send gets added to the collection, unless you don't mind if they resell them as a fundraiser), but they should be willing to add a bookplate that would state the source of donation as well as the honoree.

(/librarian mode)

tanac's right, and you can probably do it most easily by contacting the Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library, whose phone number and e-mail will be in the link to the John M. Ford Book Endowment. I'm going down there in a little bit, and will mention that they should watch for your communication. They told me they will be making up bookplates identifying the books as donated in memory of Mike.

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