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Thank you for being a Friend!

November 9, 2012

The Rochester Public Library spent the week of October 21-27 celebrating its Friends of the Library group as part of the sixth annual celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week. The Friends of the Rochester Public Library were established in 1949 and have raised several million dollars for the library to date to cover programming, collections, databases, hardware, equipment and space upgrades.

Currently nearly 600 community members contribute annually to the Friends and nearly 400 of these contributors actively volunteer their time to assist the group with fundraising efforts that include the annual used book sales held every winter, summer and autumn as well as the BookStore. There are numerous other literary events in our community.

The friends raised over $300,000 for the library in 2011In 2011 alone, the Friends donated 18,166 hours of volunteer time from 378 people. Some volunteers sort books, dvds, cds, etc that are donated with many ending up on the shelves for the public to enjoy (valued at $201,400, if we had had to buy them). The Friends, with membership, book sales, events, and the Friends bookstore, contributed $97,900 to fund Children’s and Adult programming, summer reading projects, databases, materials and training, Rochester Reads, and new Self check machines. These are items that would not have been funded due to budget constraints. Other volunteers sell books in the Bookstore or online, and many more work in the Library where needed.

“The library has always played such an important role in my life and in my family’s life,” said Friends’ president Elizabeth Ritman. “I truly enjoy being able to give something back and being an active member of this group is fun!” Other important members include: Mary Barrett, bookstore manager, Bruce Witts, book sale coordinator, Pat Stephenson, our online bookseller- and so many more! We are especially grateful to our wonderful volunteer coordinators Gail Harris and Marilyn Campbell.

raised hands with the word volunteer in the skyPlease consider joining the Friends by taking out a membership today. Your contribution could support  and significantly enhance the library services to the community. Memberships start from as little as $10 (*Bookworms of fulltime students/seniors) to Book readers ($20-49), Book lovers ($50-99) and Book Collectors ($100+). Membership also gives you a discount on purchases in the Bookstore, and early admission to some of the Auditorium book sales.

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