Friends of the Library

Friends of the Library

Flying With a Book

If you're flying in or out of Chattanooga TN airport, you'll have the opportunity to stop and pick up a book (payment on the honor system) to read on your flight, courtesy of the Friends of the Library. Here's the story from Times Free Press.

Library Dweller Punxsutawney Phil Sought in Arrest Warrant by NH Police

Be on the lookout says CNN:
The suspect is furry. Only a couple of feet long. Two big teeth. And, it would seem, he has it in for the people of the American Northeast. He's Punxsutawney Phil, and he's a wanted groundhog, according to police in Merrimack, New Hampshire.

Fed up with the more than 4 feet of snow their region has gotten this winter, police issued a tongue-in-cheek arrest warrant for the notorious whistlepig.

"We have received several complaints from the public that this little varmint is held up in a hole, warm and toasty," the department posted on its Facebook page. "He told several people that Winter would last 6 more weeks, however he failed to disclose that it would consist of mountains of snow!

"If you see him, do not approach him as he is armed and dangerous," the department said. "Call Merrimack Police, we will certainly take him into custody!"

Phil isn't the only groundhog with a record this year. Wisconsin's version of Phil, Jimmy, bit the mayor of Sun Prairie this month, according to CNN affiliate WISC.

In South Florida, A Lover and Donor of Unique Books

It all started with his work as a library volunteer. From The Sun Sentinel:

For Arthur Jaffe, books weren't just to be read. They were to be treasured as works of art. Jaffe, who donated a lot of money and his vast collection of hand-crafted books to Florida Atlantic University, died Sunday. He was 93.

Though he passed away this week, his legacy will live on through the Arthur and Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts at FAU's Wimberly Library, where he spent 13 years as curator before retiring in 2011. The collection has grown from Jaffe's original donation of 2,800 handmade books to 12,000 today.

The Jaffe collection includes children's pop-ups, wood cuts and lithographs. There are several versions of the Bible, classics like "Moby Dick" and "Hamlet," and more unusual volumes, such as "Ghost Diary" by Maureen Cummins, a rare book made of glass. Even after retiring in 2011, he continued to visit the center on a regular basis. In 2012, he launched a project that seemed unusual for the book arts center: a documentary on the tattoos of FAU students.

"Here was a 91-year-old looking at all these tattooed kids and saying, 'they're all walking books,'" Cutrone said. "Sometimes you think of older people as being set in their ways, but that was not Arthur. He was willing to see the other side of things."

Biggest Ever Library Book Donation to Sacramento Area Friends Group

A Sacramento man has donated 13,000 books to the Friends of the Arden-Dimick Library, the largest donation the organization has ever received and one that includes works spanning topics from the Civil War to women’s studies.

Frank Rose, 85, spent decades amassing the collection, which he stored in two apartments in the building he manages. Library volunteers this week began packing the books – 500 boxes worth – to move to a storage space provided by Hines, a real estate firm, in preparation for sale. Rose also threw in steel bookcases.

“We take daily donations, but nothing on the scale of Mr. Rose’s,” said Margaret Clausen, a board member who oversees book sales for the Friends of the Arden-Dimick Library.

Read more here.

Greensboro Friends Will Close Library Shop...If They Have To

The Greensboro (NC) News Record reports that the 16 year old shop will be closing down due to lack of staffing and management.

The Friends of the Greensboro Public Library runs the shop, and like many nonprofit groups, it is struggling to remain relevant in a fast-changing world of information. Lea Williams, the group’s new president, says the decision to close the Booklovers Shop had nothing to do with money. The shop has been struggling for years, but it was making a tiny profit, no more than $1,300 in its last fiscal year. The shop’s shutdown had everything to do with managing the place, she says. It was too time-consuming, and after a year of discussion, Williams says, Friends’ board of directors felt the group had steered away from its role of supporting and funding the library’s programs and recruiting new members.

Members of the friends organized a meeting last month with other supporters of the shop, and they came together to vent and talk to Brigitte Blanton, a 27-year library employee and its new director. They also came together to figure out a way to keep the shop from becoming a canteen. They want to find a way to keep the shop open and viable.

“What this shop first started was magic,’’ says book lover Prudence Strong. “Why destroy something so perfect?’’

Friends of the Juneau AK Libraries Have Fun Donating One Million Dollars

From The Juneau Empire: Amid a slew of ordinance approvals and introductions, the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly got to have a little fun, accepting a big — in every sense of the word — check from the Friends of the Juneau Public Libraries.

“This is so much fun, to give away a million dollars,” Friends of the Library board President Paul Beran said before presenting the oversized check. “Can you imagine how many books at a nickel, a dime, a quarter and a dollar it takes?”

He said the group made the donation possible by staffing its Amazing Bookstore (pictured above) with 70 volunteers per week, some of which have been working in the store for 30 years.

Free with Your Books at the Chappaqua Library

From CBS News:

You may want to avoid curling up in bed with any books that you bought at Chappaqua Library’s used book sale.

A single bed bug was found hanging on a stage curtain in the auditorium that hosted the sale. During the event, the room was crawling with buyers and fears persist that a bug may have hitched a ride on one of the $17,000 worth of used books that were sold.

“We don’t want to sweep it under the rug,” assistant library director Martha Alcott told CBS 2?s Dave Carlin on Thursday night.  Other areas of the library were given the all-clear, but some families said they weren’t taking any chances.  “We put all the books that we got into this big bag,” said 7-year-old Niamh Lee.

Most Chappaqua Library patrons consider themselves bookworms, but they said they aren’t willing to scratch and suffer for their reading habits.

Warren Cty NJ Librarian Prepares for 60-mile Fundraising Bike Ride to Each Branch in County

Warren County NJ's rolling hills look more intimidating than scenic from mile 45 of a long training ride. Librarian TaraLynn Romagnoli has been climbing many of these hills via bicycle on her quest to train for a 60-mile fundraising ride to raise money for the Warren County Library according to

"The terrain is a little tough, especially since I'm not an experienced cyclist, but I'm enjoying the challenge and can see myself improving every day,” Romagnoli said. “I am expecting to have a great ride."

Romagnoli is cycling across the county to each branch of the Warren County Library to raise money for the new main library facility at 189 Route 519 in White Township.

This 60-mile ride, called the Ride to Read, is presented by the Friends of the Warren County Library Headquarters. The Friends hope to raise $5,000 in sponsorships to purchase furnishings, such as comfy armchairs for quiet reading, as well as diner booths and stools, an mp3-player jukebox, and a neon sign for a diner-themed teen section. Romagnoli hopes that these items will help to make this building a true community center for library users.

Don't Cross Your Friends of the Library Group

Dateline Dana Point, CA:

Secret meetings. Unexplained firings. Legal action threatened. It's not exactly what anyone would expect from the Dana Point Friends of the Library, but a group of women from the nonprofit say the current president Terrence Inouye ousted them as managers of the bookstore without explanation, alienated members and demoralized 80-year-old volunteers.

"We all love the bookstore and that is what makes this all distressing," said Rachel Brezinski, a bookstore manager forced to resign in March. "To be treated like this has upset all of us elderly ladies."

From Monday through Saturday bookstore volunteers and managers roll out carts of discounted used books and collect the proceeds for the Friends of the Library. Customers can stop by from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to browse and purchase tomes to take home.

But bookstore volunteer Jayne Boydston estimated that 25 volunteers and managers — or about one-third of the membership — have either resigned in protest or been pushed out altogether.

Princeton Public Library to Keep Friends

Princeton Public Library to Keep `Friends’
The Princeton Public Library Board of Trustees voted this morning to abandon efforts to consolidate two separate library fundraising groups, the Friends of the Library and the Princeton Public Library Foundation.

Friends Groups Need Not Be Affiliated in Hawaii

There’s trouble in paradise… Hawaii is seeing controversy from an unlikely source: Friends of the Library organizations.

Over a year ago, State Librarian Richard Burns informed local Friends groups that they must become affiliates of the statewide Friends of the Library organization (also referred to as FLH or the “Big” Friends) or they would no longer be allowed to raise funds on state property, according to the Hawaii Reporter.

In response, the Friends of the Aina Haina Public Library, which does not want to join the statewide group, began a process which eventually led them to seek a change from the state legislature. The resulting bill, HB1054, passed both the Hawaii State Senate and the House on May 1, and will now go to the governor for signature.
If You Won’t Be Friends with the Big Friends, You Can’t Be Friends At All?

The source of the conflict is a 2010 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which grants the FLH exclusive rights to raise funds on state property (in a system that’s unique in the country, Hawaii’s libraries are all state-run.)

Library Friends Organize Book Flash Mob

Book flash mob

“The idea is to pay it forward and give back to the community,” McRae-Dickey said. “It’s sharing something that was meaningful in our lives.”

Organized locally by the Friends of the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, Wednesday’s event lasted 15 minutes. Participants were asked to wear a yellow hat, to gather at the assigned location at the assigned time and to start reading. The idea was that when a passerby asked one of the yellow-hatted readers what was going on, the reader would hand their book to that person.

“It’s so much fun to see people doing this,” said Witham. “I love this community,” She added that she already is in the habit of passing along her favorite books.

“If I made my own bumper sticker, it would read: ‘So many books, so little time.’ ”

Topanga Canyon Library: Not Just Another Pipe Dream

In an age of library closings and cuts, here's some good news: a brand new library for Topanga Canyon, CA. Story from Huffington Post.

The two women who spear-headed this decade-long -- and yes, it was well over a decade -- quest were themselves fifteen and eighteen year residents of Topanga, moms of kids in the Topanga elementary school, all of whom used to visit the weekly Las Virgenes Bookmobile. One of the mom's, Cynthia Scott, became a volunteer, and she -- inspired by her kids -- started gathering petitions about getting a library. She now works for County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, the third crucial element in this triad of a deal.

The second mom, Adriane Allan, was a library science student who got a Masters in Library Science from UCLA. In 2001, she had been working on a paper about the importance of libraries to their communities, and something sparked. She called Supervisor Yaroslavsky's office, where they were -- quite understandably -- a tad discouraging. Nevertheless, she started to gather all kinds of information for her paper. What would it take to build a library in Topanga?? Names, facts, feasibility studies... The figures were discouraging, to say the least, but she wanted to finish her paper!! (This woman is now a Santa Monica Children's Librarian, bless her heart.)

The article's author Jodi Lampert adds...go kiss your librarian, today!!

It Pays ($100K+!) To Have Friends


ROCHESTER, MI — The Friends of the Rochester Hills Public Library recently gave the library $105,000 in funds raised throughout 2011.

“We were very pleased with the amount we raised this year,” said Friends President Kathy Dorn. “It’s the first time in recent history that we’ve gone over $100,000. I want to say we did $85,000 last year.”

Library Director Christine Lind Hage said the money will be used to fund free public programs — for both adults and children — throughout 2012, and to purchase 70 new public computers. Congratulations to the Friends!

Not All "Books For Charity" Go To Charity

For-profit book recycler behind popular donation program sells many of the books received.

Full story at

Excerpt from story: The bins worry Cady because he helps run Prescott Library's used bookshop. It raises thousands of dollars for library programs by selling donated books. Like many Friends of Library groups around the country, Cady worries the bins are siphoning off donations that normally would come to them.

In Escondido, It's All Over But The Booksale

Here's the President of the Escondido (CA) Friends of the Library showing what's left from their closed branch library.

Former patrons of the closed East Valley Branch Library in Escondido will have a last chance to pick a best-seller off the shelf this weekend when the city holds a sale to clear all books from the building.

About 10,000 books and several shelves of movies on videotape are scheduled to go on sale from noon to 7 p.m. Sept. 9 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 10 at the old branch library, 2245 E. Valley Parkway, which closed in June because of budget cuts.

The branch once held about 54,500 volumes, and about 44,000 books have been moved to the main library. At the invitation of recently retired librarian Laura Mitchell, 15 Escondido elementary school teachers then took about 40 boxes of children's books for their students.

The 10,000 or so books that remain are about twice the number the Friends of the Escondido Public Library usually has in its inventory in the bookstore at the main library, 239 S. Kalmia St., said Friends President Elmer Cameron, pictured above.

Read more:

The Uni Project

The Uni is a portable, open-air reading room that will launch in New York City, Fall, 2011. ( The reading room will bring books and learning experiences to street-level space within parks, plazas, and even vacant lots. Husband and wife Sam Davol and Leslie Davol are the team behind the project, and the Uni is based on the Storefront Library, which they created in Boston's Chinatown in 2009-2010. Sam is also the cellist for the band The Magnetic Fields. Within one week of launching a fundraising drive on, the Uni was 50% of the way to its funding goal. The drive ends August 15 ( The Uni is a portable infrastructure based on a system of cubes, and the books inside those cubes are just the start. Like traditional libraries, the Uni will also provide a venue for readings, talks, workshops, and screenings, through partnerships with local organizations and institutions. The lightweight infrastructure can be installed in various configurations at different scales, and it can transform available space into places of community use, learning, and public engagement. The design is by Höweler + Yoon Architects, with Prof. J. Meejin Yoon of MIT. The fabrication team is J. Meejin Yoon, David Costanza, and Alexander Marshall. Fabrication is underway at MIT.

East Texas Librarian Robbed at Gunpoint

For a jar that contained less than $100.00 --

DAINGERFIELD, TX (KLTV) : An East Texas woman was robbed at gun point in the Daingerfield Public Library just after 9:00 am Monday morning. Police have arrested a a 19 year-old on an aggravated robbery charge.

The suspect entered the library shortly after it opened and requested to use a computer. Earlene Walton was working and agreed to sign him in and get him all situated, since he did not have a library card.

The suspect told Walton that he had forgotten something and left the building. When he returned, he pulled out a gun. Within minutes, the suspect had fled with a jar that friends of the library used to collect donations.

True Friends (and True Crime) at the Pasadena Public Library

The LA Times Jacket Copy reports: It took two 10-foot U-Haul trucks packed to the ceiling to carry Tom McGuinn's collection of mystery novels away. McGuinn's inventory, amassed over more than 40 years, has been given by his widow to the nonprofit Friends of the Pasadena Public Library. On Saturday the organization will be selling those books in a massive mystery book sale to benefit the library's programs.

In all, there are about 9,000 mysteries, stretching from the last few years back to the 1970s. The books are, for the most part, bestsellers -- books by Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly, Daniel Silva, Jonathan Kellerman and many, many more.

Of those books, more than 3,600 have been signed by their author. That's an enormous number McGuinn gathered from various sources, according to the Friends Helen Overstreet. He went to book signings, attended the annual Book Expo publishing conference and bought them signed from bookstores when he traveled.

The mystery book sale will be held at Roosevelt Elementary School in Pasadena. There will be a $20 fee for early birds at 9 a.m.; admission is free after 9:45. The Friends of the Pasadena Public Library ask buyers to bring their own bags and boxes; they've got their hands full just getting everything alphabetized. The sale is cash only.

Agoura Hills CA Library Library Bookshop a Winner

The Book Cellar, a nonprofit used bookstore in the basement of the Agoura Hills Library, is a hidden treasure trove that raises funds for the library and donates books to schools, prisons and even other nations.

Cozy and filled to the brim, the Book Cellar once again claimed a spot in L.A. Weekly’s Best of L.A. In the weekly’s 2010 “Best of” edition, the Cellar was named the “Best Excuse to Buy ‘Crime and Punishment.’” The Cellar won the publication’s “ Best Literary Mine” in the 2008 “ Best of L.A.” edition.

Eric and Diane Haupt have been managing the Book Cellar for years and count on community volunteers from the Friends of the Agoura Hills Library to man the store each week. Eric Haupt said 95 percent of the Cellar’s proceeds support the library. Since California’s economy tanked, the money has been used to bridge the gap left by state budget cuts.

Eric Haupt said he recently wrote a check for $7,000 to renew the library’s subscriptions to newspapers, magazines and other periodicals. “We’re doing great and we’re only open one day a week,” Eric Haupt said.

Report from The Acorn.


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