Friends of the Library Disband Is this the End . . or just the beginning?

On February 6, the Friends held a general meeting in the library’s board room. Invitations were mailed out to over 100 Friends members the week before, explaining that the purpose of the meeting was to evaluate the past, current and future of the Friends group. The library director, Bob Harris, was also encouraged to invite the heads of various library departments to this meeting. After reviewing what the Friends have done and are doing, we discussed what Friends should be doing in the future, and how we were going to provide the volunteers to do it. The discussion was thoughtful,passionate, and honest. A special follow-up meeting with these same people and members of the library staff was held the following Monday, and the group’s recommendation to the Friends board was that the Friends should be dissolved and remaining funds be donated to the library for funding summer reading programs. This may come as a surprise or disappointment to many of you who have been loyal and active members of Friends for many years. But the fact is this: we have not kept evolving as our society has changed. The task of modifying Friends, with its current structure, is overwhelming. Volunteers are few. By ending this Friends organization, we are providing the opportunity for a new and stronger support group, more reflective of our community and the needs of the library, to replace what we are now. As hesitant as many of us were to even discuss this possibility at first, we were excited by what possibilities lie ahead. written by Friends of the Library President Barb Madigan

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