Programs & Projects


Friends of the Socastee Library hosted their third annual Halloween Spookfest at the library. It's a family night at the library, with a costume contest, goody bags for the youngsters, and prizes for the winners of the scary story contest. Local businesses donate the prizes (26 prizes last year for the costume contest) and the story contest winners receive savings bonds. The three winning stories are published in the local newspaper. Children must be accompanied by adults. Last year's attendance was 200.


The high point of the celebration of the Friends of the White Plains Public Library's 50th anniversary was a special annual meeting, complete with birthday cake and flowers. The guest speaker was Lincoln Diamont, an author who discussed his most recent book, Yankee Doodle Days. On exhibit at the meeting were souvenirs and photos of 50 years of Friends activities. A book truck of specially selected new books, honoring all the past presidents and the current Friends board, was presented to the library. Each person left with a special gold and white bookmark as a souvenir.


"Who Are These People?" was a fall program presented by the Friends of the Bracken Library. College folks and townspeople were invited to come and help identify people and places in photos of Delaware county from one of the library's collections.


Children's Outreach is a spring program sponsored by Friends of the Winter Haven Public Library. Invitations are extended to public and private schools and home schoolers to bring their third and fourth graders to the library for a tour, free time to look at books, and a storytime. Students learn how to get a library card and how to become involved in the summer reading programs, and they each receive a bookbag and a bookmark. The Friends pay for transportation to the library. The program even has a motto: "Roses are red, and yellow, and peach. New readers bloom through Childrens Outreach."


Scarecrows Wanted! Make them horrifying or hilarious! Monstrous or mirthsome! Friends of Clapp Memorial Library held a scarecrow contest on the library lawn. Judging was by popular vote in three categories: Kids under 12; Family/Group/Club; and Business. An entry fee of $10 for the Business category allowed the entrant to attach a sign with the business name; there was no fee for the other categories. The scarecrows stayed on the library lawn for two weeks and were an eye-catching addition to the fall book sale.


Friends of the Bruton Memorial Library held a traveling bookbag contest -- the idea was to take your library bookbag on your vacation travels and submit a snapshot to show where the bookbag had traveled. The winners were photographed in full skiing gear atop a Colorado mountain. Honorable mention went to the holder of the bag pictured with one of the New York Librarys lions.


Last October the Friends of the Vancouver Public Library hosted a general meeting devoted to book clubs. They invited all those interested in the topic by means of a radio program on books, through their own contacts, and by notices in the newspaper. The audience of over 120 heard about some library-sponsored programs and courses, toured the Central Branch, had a short course on how to research a book, listened to a few representatives describe how their clubs are run, and picked up copies of book lists. Those present said they'd like for it to be an annual event.


The highlight of the annual meeting of the Friends of the Eldredge Public Library was a panel discussion, Chatham Looks at its Library. Participants included the chairman of the Board of Selectmen, the superintendent of schools, and the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce.


"Baseball is Back!" for Friends of the Krause Memorial Library, as they begin another season of Fantasy Baseball. Participants of all ages fill their team’s rosters with the major league players they feel will perform well during the coming season. Six-team divisions will be formed. The action begins on Opening Day and continues until the All-Star Break, with the statistics reported for the "real" game used to determine team points and division standings, which are posted every Friday at the library. To kick off the season (or throw out the first ball?), Grand Rapids native William Brashler appeared at the library to discuss his baseball-themed books. Besides books published under his own name, he is one-half of the Crabbe Evers baseball mystery writing team.


Friends of the Speedway Public Library in partnership with Marian College sponsored a fashion show of models wearing genuine fashions from the 1890s to the 1930s in the elegant ambiance of tea in the Allison Mansion on the Marian College campus. The event was called "The Way We Wore." The collaboration between Speedway Public and Marian College libraries -- formalized under the name "Indiana Ink" -- will continue with a shared author visit in April.


The Cascade Friends of the Library sponsors a Booked-for-Lunch program with monthly programs of interest, including a talk by a local news anchor on how the evening news broadcast is put together and a demonstration of stamp pad craft. The menu is prepared and served by the Friends, and baby-sitting is available.


"Celebrating a Decade of Delights" is the title of the tenth annual Children's Book Week program sponsored by Friends of the Rochester Public Library. The programs, known as "Your Kids and Books," are geared to parents, grandparents, and teachers, and are offered twice during Children's Book Week at the noon hour. Participants may bring their own lunches or order a box lunch; coffee, tea, and milk are available. Librarians from the children's room and a local elementary school highlight outstanding children's books, and new books are on display. Attendees receive a bibliography of the books discussed, with prices and recommended age levels and an opportunity to win a free book. The November celebration is perfect for people looking for holiday gifts for children.


"A Look at Lear" was a four-part series of programs sponsored by Friends of the Norway Memorial Library. The four consecutive Tuesday evening programs included an introduction to Shakespeare from the perspective of an actor/director; a play-reading of selected scenes; a screening of Ran, a samurai version of Lear; and a discussion of Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres, which explores the Lear theme in modern times on a farm in Iowa.


From their newsletter: "Vice-president Pat Wiberg has proposed a new program, Books on Wheels, which will bring books and cassettes to homebound patrons. A brochure now available at the library front desk explains the new service, and provides an application for participation in this wonderful program. Volunteers will bring desired books or cassettes to individuals who are physically unable to come to the library, and return to pick them up when they are due. They will also help interested patrons apply for a state-provided cassette player and cassettes, if desired. This is just one of the many examples of the first-rate service provided by the Friends to the library and the community."


Friends of the Library sponsors a Spring Book Review series, with knowledgeable reviewers presenting current books. Reviews are held in the downtown library auditorium at noon, and guests are invited to bring a sack lunch.


"Pick of the Crop" is an annual program of short book reviews by local townspeople. Five community members give brief reviews of books of their choice. The 1996 program included the Town Manager, a town council member, a journalist, a high school teacher, and a businessman.


The Dublin Friends celebrated the season with a Garden Day in June. Garden-related books were on sale, small children enjoyed a "Secret Garden" storytime, and a family program was offered for adults and older children. Three authors spoke in the afternoon -- two authors of gardening books and a cookbook author -- and the day was wrapped up with tea and a light lunch in the library's garden.


The Friends September meeting and potluck featuring "Great Books Make Great Movies" by Dave Gruchow turned out to be a great evening. Reader volunteers from Friends, Library staff and commission read aloud passages from eight classical fiction books. Dave then showed the same passage as it was done in the movie version of the book.


"The Daily Grind: The Real Scoop on Coffee" was presented by the South Windsor Friends. Two speakers from a local coffee shop shared the history and lore of coffee. Sample sips were provided, along with tasty treats provided by the Friends, who invited all attendees to bring a favorite coffee-flavored treat or coffee-go-along to add to the Tasting Table. Door prizes donated by eleven local businesses added to the fun.


Friends of the Norway Memorial Library are presenting a two-part program on writings from diaries. The first evening the group will take a look at some famous historical diaries and discuss the manner in which the writers expressed their ideas. Among the diarists studied will be such notables as Anne Frank, Robert Falcon Scott, and Martha Ballard, whose diaries of her life as a midwife shed light on life and medical practice in Maine's early days. The second evening will belong to the attendees, to share diaries, their own or those of their ancestors. Listeners as well as readers are invited.


A crowd of more than 100 Star Wars fans joined the Friends of the Chesterfield County Public Library in March to celebrate the Friends' recent acquisition of over $1500 worth of Star Wars novels, nonfiction works, videos, CDs, and cassette tapes. Festivities included a Star Wars trivia contest, an opportunity to be photographed with Star Wars characters, and a theatrical makeup demonstration.