2000 Baker & Taylor Award Winners

Public Library Friends, Large Budget

A centerpiece of the Friends of the Johnson County Library (Shawnee Mission, KS) fundraising efforts is their used-book store, which is open five days a week and earned $56,000 in 1999. The Friends sponsored more than 100 adult programs during the year, and supported the summer reading program and volunteer recognition. Their letters of support and presence at budget hearings in the county reduced a pending cut in library funding by more than 50%.

Public Library Friends, Medium Budget

The Friends of the Traverse Area District Library (Traverse City, MI) hosted more than 1200 community members at a black-tie Gala celebrating the opening of the new library building. At the Grand Opening, the Friends announced the creation of the Library Foundation, which by the end of the year had raised $58,000. Landscaping included a garden area featuring a Touch and Scent garden especially designed for the pleasure of visually handicapped guests. The Friends created and produced a walk-through tape of the gardens.

Public Library Friends, Small Budget

School-age children in Florence and Penrose, Colorado are able to receive tutoring to improve their reading skills at no cost to their families or to the school district, thanks to a program sponsored by the Friends of the Penrose Community Library (Penrose, CO) and the local community college and funded by a grant from the Governor's Youth Crime Prevention Initiative. The group also sponsored the creation of a separate Young Adult section at their small library, where a weekly activity is held for teens. Other Friends projects included sponsoring a T-ball team and a series of monthly programs provided by community members.

School Library/Media Center Friends

Members of the Friends of School Libraries Consolidated School District No. 1 Hickman Mills (Kansas City, MO) include parents, patrons, media center librarians, and staff. This group was organized with the mission of promoting quality library programs and services for students and teachers. One special project involved a partnership between the Mid-Continent Public Library, a local independent bookstore, and a group of students at Truman Elementary School. Along with the Friends, this group created 125 Babies and Books kits that were distributed to parents of newborns by the school district's Early Childhood Center. Kits emphasized the importance of reading with very young children, informed parents of local library resources, and included suggested activities and a high-quality board book.

Academic Friends

The Friends of Louisiana State University Libraries (Baton Rouge, LA) reached a million-dollar milestone -- that's the grand total raised to date by their major fund-raiser, the Book Bazaar. With revenue generated by these book sales, the Friends have added a million dollars worth of library materials to the LSU libraries. Other activities have created an endowment to pay the salary of a graduate student to work in Special Collections, and the Friends have also made a donation every year to the Library Endowment.

State Friends Organization

Friends of South Carolina Libraries publish a newsletter, a directory of local Friends presidents, and a Friends Resource Book. They cosponsor South Carolina Library Legislative Day, promoting the need to increase state funding for all public libraries. A Board member arranged for the governor's wife to be the keynote speaker for Legislative Day, and her remarks contributed to the subsequent bipartisan support for funding that resulted in a 24% increase. The South Carolina Friends also dedicated a Literary Landmark at the University of South Carolina, honoring James Dickey.