For immediate release | February 25, 2014

Two Friends groups win National Friends of Libraries Week Awards

PHILADELPHIA — The Friends of the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library (Eau Claire, Wis.) and the Friends of the Grand Rapids (Minn.) Area Library were winners of United for Libraries’ 2013 National Friends of Libraries Week Awards. Each won $250, received a certificate, and were recognized at the Gala Author Tea, sponsored by ReferenceUSA, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia.

To mark National Friends of Libraries Week, the Friends of the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library implemented a new program called Riddle Me Readers. The youth services department offered a different riddle to solve every day of the week. Children had to figure out the title of the book that was associated with the riddle and find it on the shelf, where there was an envelope with a slip that said “Congratulations, you solved the riddle!” Every child that solved the riddle received a piece of candy or a sticker, and was entered to win the prize of the day. The program was initiated to help increase awareness of the Friends of the Library among younger families in the community. Each day’s riddle and prize was shared on the Friends’ Facebook page, resulting in triple the amount of Facebook traffic. About 150 children participated in the program, creating a positive image for the Friends, and resulting in new Friends memberships.

The Friends of the Grand Rapids Area Library had a theme for National Friends of Libraries Week – “Want a Friend? Be a Friend! Join the Friends of the Library.” Mayor Dale Adams proclaimed Oct. 20-26 as Friends of the Library Week in Grand Rapids. The Friends increased their membership by nearly 25 percent through Friends of the Library Bookstore giveaways, a raffle for book baskets for new members, a library display and a celebration with the Friends board serving cake to library patrons, library Foundation members and library staff.

The next National Friends of Libraries Week will be held Oct. 19-25, 2014. For more information, visit

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association that supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries. United for Libraries 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 United for Libraries, visit the United for Libraries website or contact Jillian Kalonick at (312) 280-2161 or


Jillian Kalonick

Marketing/Public Relations Specialist

United for Libraries