Newcomerstown Public Library in Newcomerstown, Ohio, has been struggling to remain open in its small community due to state budget cuts. The library formed a fundraising committee last fall and has been working hard to raise funds so that it may continue operating.

Many authors have responded with enthusiasm. Elizabeth Berg, author of The Last Time I Saw You, Joy School,and other works, offered to come to the library and give a lecture at no charge to the library, saying she loved small libraries. Berg is bringing Jane Hamilton (The Book of Ruth) with her to speak, too. For $30, attendees will get a buffet dinner and will then hear the authors speak about their books and their lives as writers.

In addition to the talk, the library has auctioned off some 50 signed books by John Grisham, Sue Grafton, J.A. Jance, and Dean Koontz, among others. “It’s a pretty big deal for a library in a town of less than 5,000 people,” said children’s librarian Jennifer Coventry.

“It’s so important that our community retain its public library, and we’ve all been working to do everything we can to make sure that our doors remain open,” said Coventry. The library is accepting donations; details are available on its Web site.