When the Board of County Commissioners meets on Tuesday, October 16, Historic City News reporters will be on hand when October 21-27, 2012 is proclaimed “Friends of the Libraries” week in St Johns County.
The proclamation makes the strong statement that the Friends of the Library groups enable our Library System to move from good-to-great.
The Friends work hard throughout the year to provide additional resources and extra enhancements that make local libraries better. A large portion of the financial contributions of the Friends groups go to fund adult and youth programming throughout the year — especially the summer programs with special performers.
They also provide fun prizes, reading incentives, and specialty items like train-sets, puppets, and decorations. When you attend a program or event and enjoy refreshments, remember that the Friends are making that possible as well — everything from cookies and coffee to specialty foods for volunteer recognition events.
Library facilities have been improved through contributions raised by the Friends of the Library; including the enlargement of the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library, new furniture and cabinetry at the Main Library, and a new meeting room floor for the Anastasia Island Branch Library.
The St Johns County Public Library System is supported by 7 “Friends” groups — one for each branch library as well as the Bookmobile Extension Services Department.
Members of the volunteer organizations donate their time and resources on fundraising, in advocacy, and by providing services to library patrons. According to Library Director, Debra Rhodes Gibson, when faced with budget cuts last year, Friends of the Library filled the gap; providing over 11,000 hours of volunteer time — the equivalent of 5 full-time staff members.