Two Friends groups win ALTAFF’s National Friends of Libraries Week Awards

For Immediate Release
Tue, 02/07/2012

Contact:

Jillian Kalonick

PHILADELPHIA – The Friends of the Ennis (Texas) Public Library and the Friends of the Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Public Library District were recognized for winning the 2011 National Friends of Libraries Week Awards by the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF) during the ALTAFF Gala Author Tea, held during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Dallas. Each group received $250 and a certificate.

The two groups were recognized for creativity and innovation; involvement of Friends, library staff, Trustees and/or advisory committee; recognition of the Friends group; and promotion of the Friends group to the community during National Friends of Libraries Week, Oct. 16-22, 2011. In addition, the Friends of the Roxbury Township Public Library (Succasunna, N.J.) and the Friends of the San Benito County (Calif.) Free Library were recognized with honorable mentions.

The Friends of the Ennis Public Library collaborated with library staff to create a portrait gallery of “Famous Friends” in the library. More than 60 portraits were exhibited throughout the library during the celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week. “Famous Friends” portraits included the oldest Friends member (age 93), the Friends website designer, a local author and columnist who is a library Friend, the 2011 Teen Volunteer Scholarship winner and many others. In addition, Mayor Russell Thomas issued a proclamation for National Friends of Libraries Week, and residents were encouraged to take a quiz about the Friends online for the chance to win a prize. The celebration surrounding National Friends of Libraries Week resulted in increased membership and a 25 percent increase in attendance at the November Friends meeting.

As part of National Friends of Libraries Week, the Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District held the inaugural Adriance Honors on Monday, Oct. 17. The honorees were Roland (Skip) and Marion (Chad) Patterson, in recognition of their support of Adriance Memorial Library. More than 130 people attended the event, which was held at A Taste of Asia. The celebration was followed by a Friends event each day of the week as part of the library’s Thornton Wilder Month, with Poughkeepsie and the surrounding area reading “The Bridge of San Luis Rey” and “Our Town.” Events included a trip to the Tenement Museum in New York City, a membership campaign launch, a book discussion and a book fair at the local Barnes & Noble.

The Friends of the Roxbury Township Public Library kicked off National Friends of Libraries Week with a proclamation from the town council. The group created a Friends song for youth, a Friends rap for teens and an adult interactive Friends song. On Monday, teens helped the Friends by making a variety of buttons, with slogans such as “I’m a Friend, Are You a Friend?” The buttons were worn by members and given out to patrons who joined the Friends during the week. Also held during the week was a celebration for teens with pizza, soda and a book discussion, sponsored by the Friends and in conjunction with Teen Read Week.

The Friends of the San Benito County Free Library held a coloring contest for preschoolers, and winners received "Frog and Toad are Friends," in keeping with the “friend” theme. The Friends held a celebration marking the week on Oct. 19, when they presented a proclamation from the San Benito County Board of Supervisors designating the week as Friends of the Library Week in the county. Those attending the celebration included local dignitaries, library staff, Friends, local business owners and the winners of the coloring contest and their families. The week was capped off by a Friends booksale.

National Friends of Libraries Week offers a two-fold opportunity to celebrate. Friends groups can use the time to creatively promote their group in the community, to raise awareness and to promote membership. The celebration also offers an excellent opportunity for the library staff and Board of Trustees to recognize the Friends for their help and support of the library. The next National Friends of Libraries Week will be celebrated Oct. 21-27, 2012. For more information and resources, visit www.ala.org/altaff/events_conferences/folweek.

ALTAFF is a division of the American Library Association that supports citizens who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries. ALTAFF brings together library Trustees, advocates, Friends, and Foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information or to join, visit www.ala.org/altaff, or contact Jillian Kalonick at (312) 280-2161 or jkalonick@ala.org.

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