Making new friends: Library club seeks more members

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A pair look through books at a Friends of the Library sale.

Submitted photo

Editor’s note: The Daily Reporter features our “Neighbors” each month, whether it be someone with an interesting hobby or profession, or a nonprofit group making a difference in our community. Here, Mary Lynn Burrows of the Friends of the Library shares about the organization and how it’s seeking new members. The group, with 130 members, hosts four book sales a year at the Hancock County Public Library, with the next sale coming up May 17-20.

Daily Reporter: Friends of the Library has been around since 1979. Can you tell us how it got started?

Mary Lynn Burrows: Recognizing a need for increased community involvement, the public approached the library director to create a friends of the library group. The group formed as a response for increased public involvement and as the library made plans to expand or move from the Carnegie location in downtown Greenfield.

DR: What kind of impact does the Friends have on programs at the HCPL?

MLB: The friends monetarily support programs, reading club prizes and most recently the Chris Sickels Red Nose Studio display in the children’s room at the main library in Greenfield.

DR: Why are you seeking new members?

MLB: We are looking for members to help with book sales and donation days. We also would like new board members. We lost a member who was the original treasurer when the friends formed in 1979. Another longtime active member moved away to be closer to her family. We want to keep in touch with all people in Hancock County, especially those with children who use the library and attend schools in Hancock County. They can help us develop ideas to keep the Friends involved with youth and literacy. We invite anyone interested to volunteer for a book sale shift where board members will help them understand our mission.

DR: How do members help with book sales?

MLB: Anyone can become a member and help with the book sales and donation days. Members who help with the book donation days and book sales often get the first look at items. On the book sale set up day, they can pay for their selections before leaving after their shift, paying the same price as the book sale prices. On donation days they can put aside books for the inventory manager to price. These are the same cost as the books at the Friends stores. Volunteering for the book donation days requires dividing books into boxes: fiction, non-fiction, children, audio visual, and paperbacks.

DR: Does the group have any other major fundraisers?

MLB: The Friends stores are located at the entrances to library in Greenfield and the Sugar Creek Branch in New Palestine. They raise as much as the book sales and often times more. The newest and best donations are put on these shelves and have slightly higher prices than the book sale items because the majority of these are new. Prices range from 50 cents to $4. Occasionally there are book sets and specialty books that are priced as marked. People can shop these shelves anytime the library is open.

DR: How do people get involved?

MLB: We could use high school volunteers on the Wednesday before the quarterly sales in the evening to help move boxes of books from the storage closet to the meeting room where the sales are held. We would appreciate the students’ help while giving them the opportunity to fulfill their volunteer hours. The time commitment is one hour to one and a half depending on the size of the sale.

They can contact the Friends by using any of the information below.

Membership forms are located on the shelves at both Friends stores. It can also be downloaded from the Friends page on the library’s website, hcplibrary.org/about/friends.htm.

To learn more, email [email protected], visit Friends of Hancock County Public Library on Facebook or call 317-462-5141.

People may donate books between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. this Saturday, May 11 at the Greenfield library. The next sale is open to members only May 16, and then open to the general public May 17-20. Visit hcplibrary.org for times and details.