Supporting Your Library - What Is a Silent Auction Anyway?

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Published Wednesday, September 6, 2017
by Kemma Alfano

As you might know, the Kiowa County Public Library is planning a Silent Auction Fundraiser that will be held at the Kiowa County Fair September 7th - 9th (located under the grandstands). While planning this big event, we have had several people ask us two great questions about the fundraiser that we feel should be answered for everyone. Our most common question is, "What is a silent auction anyways?"

A silent auction is similar to a regular auction only there is no auctioneer... That's a terrible explanation right? Here is a better answer. A silent auction is an auction where bids are written on a sheet of paper. You may receive a bidding number from the event planner or use your name when bidding on an item. Some planners may choose to set a starting bid and bidding increments for auction items. There are typically many items auctioned simultaneously and "closed" at a common finish time.  At the predetermined end of the auction, the highest listed bidder wins the item. Silent auctions are most commonly used for charity events or fundraisers for non-profit organizations.

For our auction, we have set starting bids and increments on all of our auction items. Each item will be clearly marked with its starting bid and increments. A sheet of paper will be set at the base of each item. The paper will include a description of the item, a slot for your bidding number (which will be determined by a signup sheet) and a slot with your bid amount. After someone bids the starting bid on an item each additional bid must increase by the set increment. (Starting Bid: $10 / Bidding Increment: $1 / Next bid would be $11.) If someone bids after your initial bid you can continue to bid on that item. Bid up to the amount you are willing to pay for that item, or until the bidding is closed at 5 PM on Saturday, September 9th.  Silent auctions can be really fun so we hope you are able to stop by!

Now to answer the second question, "Why is the library having a fundraiser and what will the funds be used for?" Let us start by saying; libraries across the nation are always trying to stay relevant in this changing world. One way to do that is by letting our communities know we are more than just a book depository. We want to offer new and innovative services to our community that will continue to draw people TO the library. Notice we said "to" and not "into." Our library can stay relevant even if someone can't make it "into" the library. This is done through partnerships and outreach programs.

That's right; we want to be able to bring our services out to the community. We have many ideas to do just that, but like everything in life it takes time, money, and a lot of positive energy. The library staff has wondered time and again, where do we begin? Where can we go first that will make a positive difference and keep everyone wanting more? We think we came up with a great place to start; our schools! Our schools and our library working together to better the children in our county, doesn't that sound awesome? We are all trying to stay afloat with very limited funds, so why not work together! This is just one of many library dreams and partnerships that the funds from our silent auction can be used for.

The world is changing and the future is unknown, but we know we want to be a part of it. We want to change and evolve just like everyone else, so we are dedicated to doing just that. We are dreaming big in many ways and we are ready to start making a difference. We could talk a long time about this subject, so we will end with this question for now; "Why not have a fundraiser that can help get us one step closer to making a difference in our county?" may earn an affiliate commission if you purchase products or services through links in an article. Prices, when displayed, are accurate at the time of publication but may change over time. Commissions do not influence editorial independence.