The words of wisdom quoted above come from Walter Winchell (remember him?) and they certainly reflect the loyalty and generosity our library has received over the years from our Friends of the Library. This week (Oct. 17-23,2010) marks National Friends of the Library Week, an honor bestowed by the American Library Association, particularly the division of ALA known as the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations. All of us at DPPL want to take this opportunity to thank our own Friends of the Library in a very special way.
The Friends of the Library do so much for us, it is difficult to summarize in a brief post. The Friends are a volunteer organization devoted to supporting the public library. They hold three enormous used book sales every year, raising tens of thousands of dollars for the library. They hold an ongoing booksale every day of the year, too - those books and magazines for sale in the first floor south corridor. Strangely enough, in a world where everyone wants something for nothing, the Friends do all of this while paying an annual membership fee to participate! The modest fee of $5.00-10.00 makes it easy for anyone to join the Friends and yes, members receive pre-sale access to those book sales.
You might be interested in how the Friends' hard-earned dollars are spent. At the Friends' monthly meetings, library staff members present needs and opportunities that cannot be covered by the annual budget. These range from assistive technology for people with disabilities, large-scale events for children, our Teen Web site, Summer Reading Clubs for readers of all ages, even the musical entertainment for our annual "Do The Dewey" fundraiser. (Please keep that in mind when you read misleading information online, claiming that tax dollars are spent on those activities.) Most recently, when the Friends heard about our budget crisis due to the delay in tax disbursements, they came to our rescue again with funding to purchase 100 new books, CDs and DVDs for adults and children.
A few months ago, I created the video above as a modest tribute to all that the Friends do for the library. Watch it and maybe it will inspire you to get involved. DPPL is in the news a lot these days and often the news is not good. Many of you have kindly asked, "How can I help?" You can certainly support us by telling the City of Des Plaines and our elected officials that you appreciate the library and use it often. You can also support us in a very tangible way by becoming a Friend of the Library. Visit their Web site for more details. New members are always welcome - just be ready to roll up your sleeves because our Friends are hard workers! :)
Thank you, Friends of the Library, for all you do - happy National Friends of the Library Week!