‘Friends’ hear report on new library

Local library board member Joyce Cunningham was a visitor at the “Friends of the Library” monthly meeting last Thursday (March 17) at the library.
She reported on the board’s goals to build a new library.
The “Friends of the Library” committee supports the library board’s new building program and is optimistic the community will have a new library in the near future.
The March membership drive was a success, with many “old friends” renewing their membership and “new friends” signing up.
Any library patron who missed the week-long event, and who wants to be a “Friend of the Library,” still can sign up at the library main desk. Membership is $2.
Some confusion exists in the community about what the “Friends of the Library” is. The following will try to clear up some misunderstandings.
“Friends of the Library” membership is different from library membership. Library membership is what one needs to use the library to borrow books, use the computers, etc.
Library membership is free to Fort Frances residents since municipal taxes pay for the library. Non-residents pay an annual user fee.
“Friends” are not staff and do not do librarian work. “Friends” also are not members of the library board, which is the governing body that makes management decisions such as about building, staffing, and library programs.
Rather, “Friends of the Library” are volunteers who support the library. The mission statement is: “To help our library be the best it can be.”
“Friends” mainly do fundraising for “extras” for the library.
The wonderful furnishings and circulation desk, air conditioning in the Carnegie Room, the lower shelving in the children’s section, the security system, the new microfiche reader, and the paperback spinners are some of the special projects for which the “Friends” have raised money.
Some members of the “Friends of the Library” choose to donate money only. Others volunteer to help with baking, and to help with such fundraising activities as ticket sales, tag day, and used book sales.
“Friends” also help with the Teddy Bears Picnic each June and donate the books for newborns given by the Welcome Wagon. Members also help with shut-in delivery, computer tutoring, and hosting visiting authors and entertainers.
The “Friends of the Library” committee is the core group that meets monthly to plan and organizes these activities.
There is always room for more volunteers and “Friends”! The next meeting is slated for Thursday, April 21 at 7 p.m.

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