Wilton Library posts surplus for 2019

WILTON — Patrons walked through Wilton Library’s doors 256,728 times during its fiscal year 2019, almost 750 visits a day, according to the annual report released Dec. 29.

The library, which will mark its 125th anniversary this year, counts 578,430 physical and digital items in its collection ranging from the expected books, CDs, and DVDs to the unexpected like a telescope, puzzles, museum passes and Kindles and iPod Touch devices preloaded with bestselling books. According to the report, 266,868 items were checked out.

Reference librarians answered 35,019 questions and 25,039 people attended 851 library programs including concerts, author talks, Innovation Station workshops, and many events for children.

To offer all these things, the library’s total expenses for 2019 were $3,597,378, of which $2.6 million was for salaries and benefits. The next big budget item was designated as Library Content & Programs, accounting for $416,247.

The library took in $3,671,680 in revenue for a surplus of $74,302. Sources of revenue were:

 Town grant — $2,777,453.

 Annual appeal — $258,099.

 Fundraising events/donations — $367,722.

 Operating income, including investments — $268,406.

Wilton’s is not a public library. It is an association library that is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization open to the public. The town grant covers about three-quarters of the library’s operating budget but library resources and programs are wholly funded by donations and bequests.

Year of events

The year was marked by a number of significant events including an ambitious Wilton Reads program that focused on the New York Times bestseller “The Tattooist of Auschwitz” by Heather Morris. The program reached out not only to the general community with a series of programs but also to the schools with books appropriate for all age groups. Programs focused on Holocaust-related music, art, survivor recollections, and literature, culminating with a sold-out author talk by Morris at the library and Wilton High School.

Both the library and school district were recognized with the National School Public Relations Association’s Golden Achievement Award, for their “exemplary work in all aspects of school public relations, communication, marketing and engagement” for the Wilton Reads 2019 program.

The Scholarly Series, an annual collaboration with the Wilton Historical Society, presented “Sex, Scandal and Upheaval: 1919 — What’s Changed,” which included discussions on the Treaty of Versailles, the Black Sox scandal and women’s suffrage.

Other events included the library’s first gingerbread house contest, second Human Library, and annual Innovation Day along with its regular lineup of art exhibitions, jazz concerts, Connecticut’s Own concerts, summer concerts, author talks, business workshops, investment talks and programs for parents.


The report also includes an update on the Wilton Library Endowment Fund, established to build a permanent source of income, with a listing of the Cornerstone Society members who donated $10,000 or more through June 30, 2019.

Also listed are hundreds of Friends of the Wilton Library Association and scores of organizations that partnered with the library on a number of programs and events.

The report may be read at https://bit.ly/2ZTS6Nn.