Wednesday, November 2, 2011

friends of the library

When I left the Library's staff almost 5 years ago, the president of the Friends grabbed me and set me to work. I've been working for them ever since. First up was to create from scratch our used bookstore and then to manage it for two years. Then I was elected president of the group.

Those four years flew by. The election of the officers for the 2012-2013 term is today. It is now time to downsize my involvement and pass the reins off to some new folks. I will continue to handle their marketing efforts, submit a story or two to the newspapers and take care of their monthly emailed newsletter. All work I can do from the comfort of my kitchen in my spare time.

Going back into the paid workforce when I did was not in our original plan, but several things necessitated an early entry into the world of paychecks. My new employer was supportive of my wish to finish out my term and allowed me to preside over the meetings until my term ended. I'm so grateful for that.

But, now things are winding down and I'm wrapping up a variety of loose ends. If you have a library in your town and you have a Friends group, by all means, get involved in whatever capacity you can manage. Library budgets are woefully underfunded and the Friends groups around the country are often the ones who pick up the slack when it comes to money for materials and programs.

It has been a joy to be as involved as I've been with our group. I've made some wonderful friends while volunteering in a rewarding way. I've learned a lot about myself and about leading such a diverse group of people.

If I could rewind the clock, I'd do it all over again.


The English Teacher said...

The Salt Lake City Friends of the Library recently wielded enough power to force the resignation of a tyrant who had been appointed over the whole library system and in 3 years had managed to offend, alienate, and terrorize nearly the entire staff. The bully was out-bullied by the Friends, who finally said, "No more funds unless things change." Within one week of that announcement, the tyrant was forced to resign -- although she was given a huge severance package, and she really should've been fired.
Anyway, yea for Friends of the Library!

Liz said...

Our director is far from a tyrant, but we had a difference of opinion when it came to charging 'non residents' for library cards. We managed to get the proposed fee cut in half...our fair Town borders another county and another state, many nearby areas don't have a library near them. Ours is the closest and in fact those folks shop, work etc in our Town. FOTL do have power!