Ben Loftis Contributing Columnist
October 15, 2013
During the mid-1980s, the Union Carnegie Library began undertaking a large building project that would eventually more than double the size of the library and resulting in the building space now used. Raising the funding for this project was a significant undertaking, but the library had some help from its newly formed Friends of the Library. The Friends of the Library were organized in 1982 by Isla Magnifico, and within three short years, the group had helped in raising over $500,000 for the renovation.
However, the Friends did not stop there, and they have continued supporting the library ever since. Today, the Friends provide assistance to the library in two ways. First, they provide funding for special projects. Second, Friends members volunteer their time to help put on library events. Both of these tasks are invaluable to a well-run library. Recent support from the Friends has allowed the library to fund such projects as the American Road to Victory film series and the microfilming of the most recent issues of the Union County News and Union Daily Times. Friends members have also volunteered their time at many library programs, and have been especially visible during the Road to Victory film screenings and the Summer Reading Wrap-Ups.
Each winter, the Friends hosts an annual meeting to highlight to all members what the Friends of have done over the last year and to elect new officers. The event also features a guest entertainer, and is also a time for past members to renew their membership and non-members to join.
The week of Oct. 20-26 is deemed National Friends of Libraries Week, and this provides an excellent opportunity to thank the Friends for all they have done. Without the support of the Friends, the library would not be able to provide the services it currently provides. We are truly grateful for their support, time, and effort.
If you are interested in joining the Friends of the Library, you can do so during the annual meeting which will be held on a Sunday afternoon, likely in February (more information will be distributed as the event is finalized), or you can stop by the library to pick up a membership envelope. Additional information including membership levels can be found online by visiting unionlibrary.org and selecting the “Friends” tab on the bar at the top of the page.