Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chelsea District Library Celebrates Friends

PRESS RELEASE - The Chelsea District Library will be spending the entire week of October 18-24, 2009 celebrating its Friends of the Library Group.

The Friends of the Chelsea District Library were organized in 1949 and have given over $16,000 in gifts to the library so far this year. Over 45 dues-paying members have been joined by dozens of additional volunteers to conduct various fundraising projects including the sale of prints of McKune by local artist, Ben Bower, “green” reusable book bags and the ongoing monthly used book sale. “It's great to have the privilege of being a FRIEND to such a wonderful, award-winning library! Both staff and other Friends are terrific to work with. In these tough economic times, it makes you feel good to know that you can provide extra funds to insure that innovative programs will continue, says Sharon Pignanelli, President of the Chelsea Friends group. "A great many of our public programs are made possible by the generosity of the Friends of the Library. The Friends make a difference between a very good library and a great library. The work that they do on our behalf, especially during these hard economic times, helps to support the library's wonderful programs and services. We thank them for that,” says Bill Harmer, Director of the Chelsea District Library.

Gifts to the library from the Friends include funding for an annual staff appreciation breakfast, programs such as Books for Babies, Books and Banter, Summer Reading Programs for both youth and adults, and the Mckune 50th Anniversary celebration, to name only a few. Linda Ballard, Head of Circulation and Volunteer Services says, “The library definitely wouldn't be the award winning organization it is today without the generous contributions of the Friends! They donate over $10,000 each year towards programming and staffing needs- everything from prizes for the Summer Reading program to refreshments for the Prom Dress exchange. They purchased a fantastic picnic table for the staff this year and funded the entire first-ever Comedy Showcase, as well as our Books and Banter, Books for Babies, and a new fall teen book club. Due to the Friends support, we also hosted the first-ever Comic Convention at the library this year. Their donations also make the Music at McKune and the Chelsea Reads community read programs possible. Our recent 50th Anniversary celebration was in large part funded by a generous donation from the Friends also. We can't thank them enough for all they do for us!”

While the Friends of the Chelsea District Library is most well known for its very popular monthly used book sales, they also participate as members of the statewide organization, Friends of Michigan Libraries, and the newly re-created group, Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations. Louise Jernigan, Friend of the Year 2009, says of being a Friend, “I have felt privileged to be a member of the Friends of Chelsea District Library. Working with individuals who are giving their time and energy to the library has meant a great deal to me. These individuals have shown an outstanding commitment to the library. They have helped create a library that is a positive place for community activities and a forward-looking part of Chelsea. I am proud to be a member of this organization. The amazing friends I have made are greatly appreciated.”

The Friends have been fortunate to have an active and committed Board over the past few years. The current Board is made up of four officers (President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary), four standing committee chairs (Communications, Fund Raising, Membership, Program), and the immediate Past-President. In January 2010, we expect a significant turnover of Board members to occur as the President, Vice-President, and Program Chair will all be vacating their positions. In addition, the Communications Chair position is currently vacant and needs to be filled.

If you are interested in discussing the opportunity to serve on the board, please contact Sharon Pignanelli, President of the Friends at 475-5829 or send her an e-mail at pignanelli@charter.net.

For more information contact the Chelsea District Library at 734-475-8732.

Source: Press release from Chelsea District

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