Public Library Friends, Large Budget
Encouraging reading and literacy are important goals of the Friends of the Jefferson Public Library (Metairie, LA). Their "Raise a Reader" program is a partnership venture in which the Friends, the library, and a local education association contribute to packets for new parents -- 1,838 were distributed last year. The Friends also donate books to public schools, provide gift certificates for the library's summer reading program, sponsor cultural programs, and make quality reading material readily available at their book sales. Innovative book sale publicity and book collection strategies helped them increase their income this year, and special events for staff members led to increased cooperation between Friends and staff.
Public Library Friends, Medium Budget
"Bookmaking - Evolution from Stone to Paper" was a Saturday program for all ages sponsored by Friends of the Thousand Oaks Library (Thousand Oaks, CA) that offered the opportunity to observe masters of such skills as embossing, gold-leaf, hand-casting of 15th century type, binding, making paper and ink, and cutting letters in stone. More than 100 participants donated their time and skills, and an estimated 4,000 people attended. Hands-on activities for children added to the fun. Actors portraying figures from history read and told stories. The event was described by the director of the California Center for the Book as "smashing, spectacular, tremendously educational, and just pure fun."
Public Library Friends, Small Budget
The North Kitsap Friends of the Library (Poulsbo, WA) established their "Art Millennium Fund" to enhance a library building expansion that doubled the size of the library. The goal was to complement the architecture of the new building with works created by local artists. A committee of artists and art professionals, an architect, a librarian, and community representatives selected the artists to be showcased. More than $64,000 was raised, and seventeen local artists were commissioned to create works for the Pouslbo Library. No other public building in the area gives its patrons as much exposure to art.
School Library/Media Center Friends
Students at Argyle Elementary School joined millions of people around the country in celebrating the birthday of Dr. Seuss as part of the "Read Across America" campaign. Their participation was made possible by Friends of the Argyle Libraries (Argyle, TX), who sponsored several activities as part of the celebration. Guest readers visited classrooms to read and talk about Dr. Seuss. At Argyle Middle School, the Friends sponsored a discussion group called "The Good Read Cafe." The group meets monthly at lunchtime in the library; students bring a sack lunch and join in an informal discussion of books they have read.
During the 2000-2001 academic year, the Georgetown University Library, led by the members of the Georgetown University Library Associates (Washington, D.C.), raised over $5 million, of which $746,000 was raised by a dedicated group of Library Associates who are alumni of the Georgetown Chimes, a university a capella men's singing group. The Library Associates hold about twelve events each year, including one in London, two in New York, and one in Los Angeles.
State Friends Organization
The publication of The Directory of Indiana Children's Authors and Illustrators by Friends of Indiana Libraries led to another project: WORDSTRUCK. Realizing that identifying and locating the authors and illustrators was only a first step in making them accessible to children, Friends of Indiana Libraries formed partnerships with a number of statewide groups to assist with funding visits of authors and illustrators to schools and libraries across the state. The twelve visits sponsored by WORDSTRUCK in the year 2000 reached more than 5,000 students. Each visit was organized by a local group, often a Friends group, and included a presentation at a public library and at least one school. WORDSTRUCK provided some funding, posters and a publicity package, assistance with planning, and an evaluation packet.