Friends of the Library

Highwood mayor dismisses nearly entire library board

All but one member of Highwood’s (IL) library board were greeted at their doors by police officers with dismissal notices last week. The one remaining trustee and treasurer, William Koch, was asked to stay on, but resigned on Sunday.

Highwood Mayor Charlie Pecaro said he is assembling a new board to bring a more modern tone to the library, but released trustees see the mass dismissal as the city’s backlash for their prior complaints.

In a city council meeting scheduled for Oct. 27, the council will have determined whether to veto the nearly full-board dismissal or appoint a new board.

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Library kicks off ‘Friendraiser’ campaign

During the month of October, the Friends of the Otsego County Library are encouraging community members to show their support for the library by joining or renewing membership.

Applications for membership are available at the public libraries in Gaylord, Johannesburg and Vanderbilt and on the library’s Web site.

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You've Got Friends in Fargo ND

The Friends of the Fargo Public Library, a nonprofit organization that raises money to fund library projects, operates a bookstore on the first floor of the downtown Fargo library.

The 259-square-foot bookstore, adjacent to the main stairway leading to the second floor, has scheduled a grand opening on Saturday.

“It’s a work in progress, but we’re happy it’s there,” Mary Kerbaugh, president of the Friends of the Fargo Public Library, said of the bookstore.

The new 54,000-square-foot downtown library opened this spring. It has twice as much space as the old library it replaced.

Incorporating a small bookstore into the new library was part of the planning process for the building, said Tim Dirks, library director.

The little book store @ the Redondo Beach Library

Mary Simun did not enjoy reading as a child. But in college, she discovered her love of reading, and hasn't stopped yet.

To make up for lost time, Simun spends her Friday afternoons volunteering at the Friends of the Redondo Beach Public Library store. Friends of the Library is a non-profit organization that supports libraries nationwide. The Redondo Beach chapter was established in 1985 to provide resources not covered in the city budget. Diane Chillington, the personnel coordinator of this chapter, said the Redondo Beach library has become slightly more dependent on the Friends since the economic downturn last year.

Does your library have FOL store? or a Friends group? Share news of how they've helped your library...

Obama Calls on Libraries to Promote United We Serve

Libraries across the country are encouraged to take part in United We Serve, a national campaign launched by President Obama to get more Americans involved in community volunteerism this summer.

Full story at School Library Journal.

Ray Bradbury Fights For Libraries

Ray Bradbury loves libraries and Bo Derek. And since Bo Derek isn't in any financial trouble right now and the Ventura County Public Libraries are, he's stepping up to help.

A life long advocate of libraries, and a regular speaker within them, Mr. Bradbury will be the guest of honour on Saturday, June 20th at an event to benefit the library. There will be a screening of The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, a movie based off Bradbury's short story of the same name. Afterward there will be a discussion with the author. Tickets are US$25 and all proceeds go the library.

More from the NYT.

Public Library Makes a Great Place for Bookstore

Dennis McCarthy of the LA Daily News has 450,000 reasons why your library should have a bookstore onsite; that's the approximate number of dollars the tiny bookstore has raised for the Platt Library since it opened in 1995. The Platt Library is a branch of the LAPL and is located in Woodland Hills CA.

The bookstore is open 6 days a week, is normally open 1 hour after the library opens until 1 hour before the library closes, and is staffed by the Friends.

Hollowed Out Book Returned by Good Samaritans

Who says there's no money in books these days? When Paul Schnitman moved last summer, he donated several books to the Friends of the Library Bookstore, Rockville, MD. Among them was a faux book with a hollowed-out center, in which his late brother had stored "more than $1,000," according to the Gazette.

"So I realized probably six weeks later that the book was missing and I went to the bookstore and magically someone had found it and turned it in," said Schnitman. Ari Z. Brooks, executive director of the Friends of the Library, said clerks at the store were "stunned" when a customer walked up to the counter in mid-November and said, "I don't think you want this book on the shelf."

The customer opened the book to reveal a wad of cash bound together by a money clip and two credit cards that had expired in 1991, she said. The two clerks, who Brooks said did not wish to comment or be named, tried to track down the owner of the credit cards, but to no avail. They turned the items over to Jim Ludlum, business manager for the FOL, who put the money in a separate banking account for safekeeping.

To make sure he was the rightful owner of the book, Schnitman said he was asked to write a letter of explanation and provide a copy of his brother's death certificate. Schnitman said he plans to give the Friends of the Library a donation for its efforts and honesty. He would not say how much money he would donate.

Librarian, There's Some Bacon in My Book

It's that time again; time for another story about strange things found in books as bookmarks from the NYT Papercuts Blog.

A few weeks ago in the NYT Book Review, Henry Alford wrote about strange things found stashed (and smashed) inside books, from money and photographs to baby’s teeth, insect corpses and pieces of superannuated bacon. There are some interesting replies to the papercuts blog too, from Unshelved cartoonist Bill Barnes, and this one from Liz G :"These leavers-behind of bacon in books may be literary, but they are certainly not true bacon lovers! While I might very well eat bacon while reading, I would never sacrifice an entire rasher to mark my place."

There seems to be a lot of skepticism about the bacon bookmark meme. A 2006 essay on Bibliobuffet mentions numerous sightings of errant breakfast meat in libraries from Florida to Nebraska to Washington State, but no first-hand accounts from librarians.

On the subject of my book, there's an In My Book® bookmark (not bacon and for that matter, glatt kosher); if you'd like a complimentary sample to consider for your library or bookshop please send a stamped self-addressed (to your library) #10 envelope to In My Book, Attn: birdie, 39 Third Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 (limited time offer through January 26, 2009, good only in the US). I'll send you one!

Michigan Friends Raise Funds for Their Library

And speaking of Friends of the Library...

A Holiday Home Decoration Fair that replaced the Friends of the Rochester Hills Library's holiday home tour was a big hit.

A silent auction of four-foot trees, wreaths and table centerpieces was held in the library Nov. 27 through Dec. 7. It raised $1,500.

"In previous years we sponsored a popular holiday home tour, but it was becoming more and more difficult to find homeowners willing to open their homes," said library director Christine Lind Hage. "It was also a difficult time of the year to get enough volunteers to staff the event." This year, local businesses and individuals donated the items that were auctioned. Hometown Life reports.

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