Sunday, October 18, 2015

FCPL Recognizes Supporters During National Friends of Libraries Week

A library can never have too many friends! Since 1995, the Forsyth County Public Library Friends & Advocates have been dedicated to raising funds that support programs, resources, materials, and staff at the library. The Forsyth County Public Library recognizes the FCPL Friends & Advocates as part of the tenth annual celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week, October 18-24, 2015.

The FCPL Friends & Advocates
donate a paperback book for each
child who completes a summer reading goal.
Since the FCPL Friends & Advocates were established in 1995, they have raised almost $200,000 for the library to date.  They operate bookstores at three of FCPL’s branches, including the Cumming Library, the Sharon Forks Library, and the Post Road Library, and offer special book sales throughout the year.   Funds raised from book sales, membership fees, and other donations are used to support additional programs, materials, and events beyond the library's regular budget.

Jon McDaniel, Library Director, notes, “I have worked with a number of Friends groups over my library career and the Forsyth County Public Library Friends & Advocates are by far the most organized and their support of the library is outstanding.”

For the current fiscal year alone, the group has committed $30,000 toward library programs, materials, and supplies.  Most recently, they donated $10,000 toward AWE Early Literacy Stations for all library branches.  These computer stations, designed specifically for patrons ages 2-8, feature over 4,000 localized learning activities, with content spanning all curricular areas.

The FCPL Friends & Advocates also donate to the library’s Summer Reading Fun program each year.  For this year’s program, they purchased Scholastic prize books for all children and teens who met their Summer Reading Fun goals.

“The library had almost 5,000 kids and teens participate in Summer Reading Fun this year and providing prize books for that number of patrons is no small cost.  We are very fortunate to have such an active and generous Friends group supporting our library,” says Laura Bradley, Program Manager.  The Friends also purchased raffle prizes for patrons, including a Kindle HDX Tablet and iPad Minis, which encouraged patron participation in the library’s summer program.

The Friends gladly sponsor large library events like Forsyth Reads Together.  This year, they contributed to bring Kathryn Stockett to Forsyth County to discuss her bestselling novel, The Help.  They also support other library programs like One World Forsyth, a monthly series for all ages that highlights geography, cultural traditions and celebrations, as well as animals, games, and foods from around the world.  “Through their donations, the FCPL Friends & Advocates make it possible to provide our community with a variety of programs and events that educate and entertain our patrons,” adds Bradley.

In addition, the FCPL Friends & Advocates help the library provide top-notch materials to patrons.  They recently donated funds to put toward the library’s collection and Linda Kelly, Assistant Director for Materials, notes, “We greatly appreciate the monetary donations that our Friends have given us for the purchase of new materials in a number of areas.  This year we will be able to get much needed Adult Books on CD, which are very popular with our patrons, and Large Print books for the Sharon Forks branch.”

To learn more about the FCPL Friends & Advocates, please visit www.forsythpl.org.

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