The Iredell Friends of the Library are asking for new members to join their organization and become a “Friend of the library” during February. The Iredell Friends organization is made up of people who love reading, books, and libraries and want to encourage others to get into reading and become library patrons. The mission of the Friends of the Library is simply to help fund, oversee, and volunteer with the Iredell County Public Library providing support to staff members and all departments. The Friends support the library and the community through volunteering, publicity, donations, and fundraising. Membership in the Friends runs from December to January and costs $10 per person or $25.00 per family. The Iredell Friends of the Library is a 501-C3 tax exempt organization and donations to the Friends are tax deductible. Membership forms can be obtained at the library in Statesville. The Iredell Friends of the Library operates under a board of elected members who plan the organizations activities through quarterly meetings.
You really don’t have to do anything other than pay for your membership, but many of the Friends also volunteer at the library. We have volunteers who help shelve books in Circulation, Youth Services, and Reference. Volunteers assist Youth Services with the various reading and craft programs we have and others volunteer in the Local History Department helping build the collection through research, copying and scanning, indexing and assisting patrons. Friends often attend various programs the library helping with refreshments, seating, and patron assistance. We can have crowds of over 100 children attend some of our reading program events and the more adults we have on hand to assist the better. The Friends also pay for the library’s quarterly newsletter “Bookmarks” which each member receives. The Friends obtain funding through membership fees, grants, and an ongoing “Friends of the Library” book sale at the library of used and discarded books and magazines.
Each year the Friends board meets to plan a budget on how their money is to be spent in support of the library. The Iredell Friends group pays for the Youth Services Summer Reading Programs purchasing books and materials, prizes and awards, guest speakers, and drinks and food for reading parties. This past year the Friends supported adult programming by helping pay for the Doris Betts Spring Series and guest speaker Robert Morgan. The Friends helped pay for library staff training and paid almost entirely for the Local History Departments photograph project purchasing archival grade sleeves, envelopes, and supplies need to preserve the images in. The Canon Microfilm Reader/Printer in Local History was purchased by the Friends along with money used to preserve a rare 1805 Iredell County marriage bond.
Each year the Friends have an annual party/meeting for all members to attend. This year’s annual meeting will be on April 16, at 12 noon and feature guest speaker Ardith Pennell who will focus on Southern cooking and cake making. This is always a fun event where the Friends get together to socialize. It’s pretty much a given that everyone there will be a reader like yourself and a fan of libraries. BJs Deli will be catering this year’s event. The meeting also allows the Friends to get together and congratulate each other on what they have accomplished. This past summer over 3,000 children attended our summer reading programs assisted and paid for by the Friends. If you are interested in learning more about the Friends contact Peggy Carter at 704-878-3093 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 2:30 pm the library will host Iredell County native Phyllis Bailey who will present a program on the “Rosenwald Schools and Black Education in Iredell County.” Ms. Bailey is an educator and local history researcher who has spent years researching black schools and education in Iredell County. This month the library in Statesville is also featuring photographs of Black men and women who have served our country in the military. These photographs were collected by Phyllis Bailey and are now on display on the library’s main level. For more information contact Joel Reese at 704-878-3093 or email@example.com.
Joel Reese, Local History Librarian
Iredell County Public Library
This article was published in the Statesville Record and Landmark in February 2015