Nov 20, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The Friends of the Cazenovia Public Library had a good year in 2013 with solid book sales and consistent numbers in membership and donations; they helped the library undertake major new projects in online newspaper access and a new literacy program that will reach across the county, and will continue their support with a $10,000 donation for 2014.
“I think we had a great year,” said FOL President Terri Feigleman at the Friends’ annual meeting on Nov. 6.
The Friends of the Library is composed of local residents, families and businesses dedicated to enhancing library resources and fostering community interest and involvement in the library. The Friends raise money for programs and services that fall outside of the library’s set annual budget, such as special programming, building improvements and other projects. These recently included renovations to the Library’s Book Barn, purchase of desktop and laptop computers, free lecture series, sound system enhancements, children’s programs and additions to the library’s collections.
Nearly 600 area residents are members of the Friends, and their annual dues provide part of the financial support available to the Library. In addition to the dues, the Friends conduct a July book sale each year.
In 2013, the Friends helped fund a new carpet for the library community room, the renovation to the restroom near the mummy exhibit, the purchase of two new public computers and subscriptions to library resources such as the BookPage newspaper and ProQuest online geneology program. They also helped financed public programs including the summer reading program, the movie in the park, the new “Fashion Takes Flight” museum exhibit and “The Wyeths: A Family Legacy” art exhibit and lecture.
The Friends’ annual book sale this past July made more than $11,000, sold thousands of books and donated hundreds of boxes of books to local charities and charitable organizations such as the Salvation Army, St. Lucy’s, Caz Cares and the Methodist church.
The board previewed a new book sale sign for next year’s sale, which will be the library’s 40th sale. The board also agreed to open the library barn for a book sale during the 2013 Cazenovia Christmas Walk, which will be from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6. The board agreed to open the barn instead of only bringing a few books into the library to sell as a way to generate more sales.
“I love this idea,” said library Director Betsy Kennedy.
The Friends’ 2013 membership drive saw a 9 percent response from the 3,600 letters sent out to the Cazenovia community, for both memberships and donations, which is “not bad,” said the board’s membership committee Chair Cindy Sutton. “We’ve been doing a little better every year … people have been very generous,” she said.
Kennedy said the library has three major projects for 2014 that she would like to ask for assistance on from the Friends: expanding the early childhood literacy efforts in Madison County through the newly announced county partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, improving and expanding the new online database that offers Cazenovia newspapers from 1805 to the present and repainting the library’s 1996 building expansion section, the latter project of which will be the library’s “centerpiece project” for the year.
The new Imagination Library program is a partnership through the Dolly Parton organization and the Madison County Literacy Coalition to expand early childhood literacy efforts to provide free, high-quality books to children across Madison County. The Imagination Library is a national program that provides one free, high-quality, age-appropriate book per month from birth to age 5 to children in participating communities.
The major donor that got this partnership off the ground in Madison County was from a Cazenovia family, according to the literacy coalition. Kennedy said the Cazenovia Public Library is having a kickoff event for the new program on Nov. 23 and is dedicated to raising awareness or and participation in the program throughout Madison County. She asked the board if the Friends would donate $1,000 to the program, which the board unanimously voted to do.
For more information on the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program, visit usa.imaginationlibrary.com.
The new archived newspapers database — online at Cazenovia.advantage-preservation.com — offers local publications including the Cazenovia Republican, The Pilot, Madison County Whig and others of local historical interest. The newspapers are accessible from a patron’s home as well as from computers inside the library, and the text is searchable and browseable, Kennedy said.
The site went live recently and while it is “amazing,” it does have “some kinks in it” at the moment, Kennedy said. The database currently does not work well on iPads or in the Google Chrome web browser, but there will be an update to the system in January which is expected to fix the problems, she said.
“This is a huge project, and I anticipate it going worldwide because people who have moved from Caz will be looking at it,” Kennedy told the board.
At the end of the meeting, the board discussed how much money they should donate to the library as part of the Friends’ annual gift. They voted to give $10,000, which is their typical donation.
For more information on the Friends of the Cazenovia Public Library, visit cazenoviapubliclibrary.org/friends.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.