October 21 –  27 is National Friends of the Library Week, a promotional campaign of the national organization known as FOLUSA — Friends of the Library, USA.  FOLUSA helps all the different library support groups and Friends groups that exist throughout the country with ideas on how to promote their library and their group.

 Let me tell you a little about Dublin Library’s Friends.  These are people who volunteer their precious time to help raise money, awareness and provide community support for the Dublin Library. 

We are very lucky to have quite a special group of people working with the Dublin Friends.  President Eileen Billik and Treasurer Noreen DeVito are here every single week.  Eileen volunteers at the library in addition to her duties as the President; Noreen drops by to check the mail and write checks. She writes checks for library programs, like our Family Sing-Along program coming up this Saturday or for things like tee shirts we are in the process of buying to advertise Dublin Reads.  Where do they get the money?  They work hard at it…putting on booksales twice a year and stocking the Starbucks(among other things) over on Regional St. with donations. Connie Archer visits Starbucks every week re-stocking the Friends bookcase with new donations.

Eileen, Noreen, Connie, Judith, Betty, George and Fritz are weekly busy in the Friends storage area evaluating, sorting and categorizing books for the next booksale. 

Last Fall the two day booksale garnered just over $4,000 for the Library.  Coming up in December they are planning a one day only holiday booksale selling paperbacks, children’s books and beautiful, nearly new specially priced books.  If you are looking for some bargain gifts for your holiday gift giving, come on by on Saturday, December 1st between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00. 

With money earned at booksales the Library is able to offer a rich assortment of programs that would be impossible otherwise: for example  this past year we  bought  an AWE early literacy computer station for the children’s section.  At $3,000 this computer station has 26 programs offering math and early reading gamesMother Goose on the Loose for children.  The Friends purchased all the supplies and materials needed to start Mother Goose on the Loose, a highly successful early literacy program that now occurs twice a week. The Friends are the primary sponsor of Dublin Reads, providing funding for the books, and just about all the Chautauqua programs. They fund summer children’s programs and the two adult book discussion groups.

In the PR materials that FOLUSA has on their website is a sample proclamation in praise of Library Friends groups.  Paraphrasing that proclamation, here are a  couple of my favorite phrases from it that I think really epitomize Dublin’s group:

“Friends raise money that enables our library to move from good to great.”

“The work of the Friends highlights the fact that our Library is the cornerstone of the community.”

“The Friends gift of time and committment to the Library leads to positive engagement and the betterment of the community.”

This week while you are in the library, look for some special bookmarks the Friends have printed for National Friends of the Library Week, with great quotes about libraries.  On Wednesday and Thursday, library staff are bringing cookies, cake and tea to thank our Friends.

If you love libraries and/or have benefited from some of the programs that the Dublin Friends have funded, consider becoming a member or even just use this blog as a forum to say “thank you.”  Dublin’s Friends care about their community and their library and we take this opportunity to voice a resounding Thank YOU.

So thank you Eileen, Noreen, Fritz, Barbara,Connie, Karin, Jean, George, Judith, Carolyn, Betty and all the many folks who come out and volunteer to help with the booksales.  We salute you!