Scotch Plains Public Library celebrates National Friends of Libraries Week
Friday, October 26, 2012 • 9:00pm
October 21-27, 2012 is National Friends of Libraries Week, and it’s the perfect time for us to toot the horn of our own Friends group. Friends of the Scotch Plains Public Library began in 1997, with a mission to support the library by fundraising and advocacy and to encourage the use of the library.
Chances are if you’ve attended any program at the library, it’s due to the hard work of our Friends. Over the years they have contributed more than $100,000 to the library for many programs and services including summer reading, film festivals, museum passes and e-readers. Major programs like our Lincoln exhibit in 2010 and Our Cities, Ourselves in 2011 would not have been possible without their support, and they will be instrumental again as we prepare for our Big Read events, which you’ll be reading more about in future columns.
How do the Friends do it? Their major fundraiser is the annual Book Sale in March. Friends members work many hours promoting the book sale, collecting and sorting donations, staffing the busy sale and cleaning up afterward. Membership dues are also an important way to support the Friends’ efforts. Under the leadership of President Joe Quarto, the Friends meet once a month to discuss library programs and initiatives and to plan fundraising efforts.
No discussion of Friends of the Scotch Plains Public Library would be complete without mentioning the tireless efforts of Bob Czaja, former President of Friends who was named this year’s Volunteer of the Year for Union County Libraries by LUCC (Libraries of Union County Consortium). Bob has faithfully volunteered for all aspects of the Friends from delivering books and tapes to the home-bound to the less glamorous jobs such as tying up recycling to maintaining several sections of non-fiction as a devoted “adopt a Shelf” program volunteer. He has diligently helped the organization become a 501c3 through many hours of paperwork and phone calls, and he has taken an informal group of good-hearted volunteers to a tightly run and ambitious fund-raising arm of the public library.
Many members of the Friends of the Scotch Plains Public Library, staff and family members attended the ceremony honoring Bob on October 4 at the newly revitalized Elizabeth Public Library, joining Trustees and legislators from the surrounding communities for this program.
Friends is always welcoming new members, with a variety of affordable, tax-deductible membership rates. Members can receive free movie rentals and a 10% discount at the Town Book Store in Westfield. We are using National Friends of Libraries week to launch a membership drive – anyone who joins as a new member, or renews an existing membership by November 19, 2012 will be eligible for a NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight giveaway. But if you ask any Friends member, they will tell you that the best benefit is knowing that they are helping the Scotch Plains Public Library offer the best programs to our community.
You can find out more about Friends of the Scotch Plains Public Library at their website: http://www.scotlib.org/friends-of-sppl/, or by stopping in at their next meeting on Monday, November 19 at 7:30pm in the Library’s Music Room.