Friends of the library lend a hand
By Debby Farmer
success of a library can be measured in a variety of
ways. Knowledgeable staff can lead you to the latest
Grisham title or information on drug interactions. You’ll
find assistance in finding a specific newspaper article
from 2001, or the parent company statistics of a local
business. Summer reading club members earn praise and prizes
for reaching their individual reading goals. More subtle
victories are realized, however, when a patron has received
a warm smile and kind words, maybe the lone ones of the
day. The weary traveler finds a comfortable corner and
browses through the latest magazines.
Blaine Library’s success is dependent upon the community. Whether it’s the building provided by the city, the library materials and staff largely funded by local property taxes, or materials donated by generous supporters, the existence and vitality of the library ultimately rely on its citizens. As lean times are the experience of many, the demands for library services are inversely growing without a correlating increase in funding.
This is where the Friends of the Library steps in. Its purpose is to furnish support – financial, volunteer and otherwise – for the improvement and well being of the Blaine Library. Membership is open to any person in Blaine or surrounding area who is 16 years or older and believes in the goal of good and improved library service to the public. Currently, the friends conduct an ongoing used book sale, and offer for $25, a limited number of courtyard tiles upon which individual or family names are inscribed. Past projects coordinated by the group, have included music, art and travel series presented in the large meeting room. Proceeds from these endeavors pay for children’s magazine subscriptions, seasonal decorations, summer reading club prizes and many other needs that would go unmet if dependent upon scarce library revenue.
The Friends of the Library meets every third Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the small meeting room of the library. With the influx of new residents in the Blaine area, the friends are hoping to increase their numbers, remembering that timeless saying, “Many hands make light work!” If you have questions about the friends group or about other ways of helping, please call the Blaine Library at 332-8146.