decorative graphic bar
Home | About | Using the Library | Catalog | Research | Children | Young Adult | News | Calendar | Good Books | Support the Library
spacer spacer spacer
Support the Library  Support the Library Give to the Cohasset Library Trust
spacer spacer spacer
Paul Pratt Memorial Library
spacer spacer

Cohasset Library Trust logo


The Paul Pratt Memorial Library is a Town Treasure
As residents of Cohasset, we are blessed with a library that is truly at the center of town life. It’s not just the books and tapes, the computer access or the bricks and mortar. The Paul Pratt Memorial Library offers all of us the opportunity to learn, to be enriched, to come together as a community in so many ways. This town treasure must be nurtured and protected. It is an investment in our future, so we must invest in its future.

Two trends are working against us. First, costs have increased due to greater library usage and a rapidly changing, technologically oriented, more expensive library world. Second, as other pressures on the town have increased, the library’s share of Cohasset’s annual budget has steadily decreased. We have more library cardholders, more visits, more programs and more computer use than ever before. Where will the money come from to meet those demands?

The trustees believe that increasing the library’s endowment will help to ease the financial future of our library. Currently, the library has an endowment of roughly $1,200,000, the result of 25 unsolicited gifts over more than 100 years. In recent years, the library has used about 4% of the endowment ($36,610 in 2012) to support its annual operating budget. This takeout rate sensibly protects against the effects of inflation in order to preserve the real value of the endowment.

Located at the center of our community.

  • 155,411 items loaned out
  • 3,172 reference questions answered
  • 124,959 visitors to the library
  • 5,058 registered borrowers
  • 223 children’s programs presented to 9,016 participants
  • 39 teen programs presented to 509 participants
  • 56 adult programs presented to 1,111 participants
  • 1,643 reservations of library meeting room space

These figures were compiled based on FY2014 data

What is the Cohasset Library Trust, Inc.?
The Cohasset Library Trust, Inc. was established in 2006 to increase the library’s endowment and prudently manage its investments. The elected trustees of the Paul Pratt Memorial Library created this nonprofit, tax-deductible 501(c)(3) corporation as authorized by town meeting vote and enabling legislation. The Trust has a Board of Directors appointed by the elected library trustees and their names are listed below. They have considerable experience in other Cohasset organizations and among them have substantial marketing, fund-raising and investment management skills.

What is the goal of the Library Trust?
The goal of the Trust is to increase the amount of expendable funds available to the library by increasing the size of the endowment. This effort will not compete with the Friends of the Cohasset Library. Inc.’s valuable annual appeal, by which the Friends generously provide the library with important benefits that include museum passes, children’s programming and the summer reading program. The existing endowment is prudently managed. The directors of the Trust are advised by a committee, that includes several professionals in the field of asset management, that meets at least quarterly to review the endowment portfolio. The elected trustees of the library will continue to insist that the library receive an appropriate and fair share of Cohasset's tax revenues.

How will a larger endowment improve library service?
We realize that reliance on tax revenues alone cannot provide the excellent facilities, collections and programs that Cohasset residents demand of their library. A larger endowment would allow the library to better satisfy Cohasset’s healthy appetite for media of every kind, as well as more programs and speakers. Larger collections of books for all ages, more large-print books, books on CDs, and DVDs would be exciting additions to the library. The possibilities are as varied and exciting as the residents of Cohasset can envision. Gifts to the Cohasset Library Trust can make that vision a reality.

Endowment Donor Wall
Donors of $5,000 or more will be honored by inclusion of their names, or someone selected by them, on a wall display, titled Endowment Gifts to the Cohasset Library Trust. This permanent listing is located in the entry way to the library from the Ripley Road parking lot.

Public and private support of Cohasset’s Library is not a new idea
1832 - Cohasset citizens, for a subscription fee of 25 cents, could become stockholders in one of two small libraries in private homes. While considered private libraries, the fee was consciously set low enough that all might find these 17 volumes accessible.
1879 - Cohasset Free Public Library was funded, combining the existing private collections and $300 in public money to house the library in Town Hall.
1903 - The Paul Pratt Memorial Library was built with private funds from the Paul Pratt family, the gift of the site from Mr. and Mrs. Samuel T. Snow, and payment for blasting the ledge from Charles A. Welch. The Town’s book collection of 7,500 volumes moved to this beautiful new library. Agreement was reached between the Town and the Boards of Directors of the Paul Pratt Memorial Library to operate the library with Town funds.
1964 - An addition was funded by the remainder of the endowment from the original Pratt gift and by other private gifts raised for this purpose.
1975 - The Directors of the Paul Pratt Memorial Library gave the building and its contents to the Town of Cohasset and dissolved their corporation. The Town agreed to spend $200,000 to increase space by 40% to provide adequately for 45,000 books, 200 periodicals, audiovisual materials, a record collection and increased space for children and seating.
2000 - Town Meeting authorized $2.9 million for a new library in the old Joseph Osgood School, provided the Trustees raised $700,000, the Town sold the 1903 building and Cohasset received a Massachusetts Library Construction Grant.
2003 - The new $4.4 million Paul Pratt Memorial Library opened with more than one-third of it paid for by generous private gifts.

The officers and directors of the Cohasset Library Trust, Inc. (elected on May 8, 2012)
John J. Flanagan, Jr., president
Paula Linhares, treasurer
Mary J. Whitley, clerk

Stephen F. Brown, Susan W. Davis, David Dwyer, Grace Evans, Doulas D. Eymer, Genevra O. Higginson, Marylou Lawrence, Michael T. Putziger, Patience Towle.

The material above has been adapted from an brochure about the Cohasset Library Trust, Inc., designed by eymer, llc, Cohasset, MA, available by request.


All gifts to the Cohasset Library Trust, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation, are tax-deductible. Gifts of all sizes to the Cohasset Library Trust are very welcome and will be acknowledged and added to the library’s endowment.

Endowment Donor Wall
Public recognition of a gift to the Cohasset Library Trust is a wonderful way to memorialize someone who is deceased or to honor someone you respect and admire—or as a gift to “someone who has everything.” A minimum gift of $5,000 will enable the donor to name a fund and add their own name or another person’s to the Endowment Donor Wall in the entry way to the library. Gifts are listed on the Donor Wall at different giving levels:

gifts of $5,000 to $9,999 are Donors;
gifts of $10,000 to $24,999 are Sponsors;
gifts of $25,000 to $49,999 are Benefactors;
gifts of $50,000 to $99,999 are Patrons; and
gifts of $100,000 and over are Philanthropists.

Pledges to create a named fund may be paid over three years.

Gifts of Cash
Checks may be written to Cohasset Library Trust, Inc. and mailed to the Cohasset Library Trust at 35 Ripley Road, Cohasset, MA 02025

Gifts of Stock
Many people find giving securities that have increased in value since their original purchase is an attractive way to make a gift to the Cohasset Library Trust. By giving the stock directly to the Library Trust, either by wire or by mailing the stock certificates, the donor is credited with a tax-deductible gift equal to the market value of the stock and does not have to pay a capital gains tax on the difference between the stock’s original purchase price and the current market value. For example, $1,000 of stock bought in 1992, now worth $10,000, can be given to the Library Trust with the donor receiving a $10,000 tax deduction for the current year, without having paid capital gains. If a gift of stock is planned, please telephone Linda Litchfield, Treasurer, at 781-383-4102 for details regarding the transaction.

A Planned Gift
Most gifts to the library’s endowment made in the 20th century were bequests—that is gifts specified in the donor’s will. It is still an excellent way to support Cohasset’s library. Please think of making a gift to the Cohasset Library Trust in your will when you are next talking to your attorney about your estate planning.

Other kinds of planned gifts that are attractive are

  • Naming the Cohasset Library Trust, Inc. as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy;
  • Naming the Cohasset Library Trust, Inc. as a beneficiary of your retirement plan assets, such as an IRA or 401 (k); and/or
  • Establishing a charitable trust benefiting the Cohasset Library Trust, Inc.