By Jeffie Nicholson, Reference Department
What is a Friends of the Library group? They are outstanding individuals who value the services a public library provides to a community. They are willing to volunteer their time and talents plus dedicate themselves to the promotion and support of their local library.
To recognize and celebrate the volunteer and fundraising work of Friends in local community libraries, the United for Libraries division of the American Library Association designates one week in October as the National Friends of Libraries Week.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has proclaimed October 16-22, 2016, as Friends of Libraries Week in Tennessee and encourages all citizens to join in this worthy observance.
Our own Friends of the Williamson County Public Library group was established in 1961. They held their first meeting on December 3 at the War Memorial Public Library. Over the years, they have contributed thousands of dollars to our library. Nearly $15,000 for books was raised this year. They also provide support for staff training and education, and other endeavors as they arise.
Our Friends raise these funds via membership fees, their book sales and events such as the Special Children’s Book Sales and by selling t-shirts and book bags. Members volunteer to help out with these and library events plus special Friends events like October’s “Boo Books” on October 24.
“The library has always played such an important role in my life and in my family’s life,” said Friends president Debbie Eades. “I truly enjoy being able to give something back – and being an active member of this group is fun!”
Our Friends of the Library are truly priceless and our library system would be bereft without their contributions. Did you know that the value of a volunteer hour is now assessed at $20.56? It leaves you speechless when you think about all the time our Friends give to the library.
“Our library would be much poorer without the Friends,” said Library Director Dolores Greenwald. “The funds they raise are such a valuable contribution to our community. I think most patrons would be surprised to learn how much support is provided by our local Friends groups.”