Friends of the Library is a non-profit organization formed by volunteers to help fund and support Midland’s public library, Grace A. Dow Memorial Library. The volunteers of the organization work together to support the library financially through book donations and literary incentives for the people in the community.
Publicity organizer Mike Dizer speaks on other programs furthered by Friends of the Library Organization.
“We provide financial support to library programs such as Battle of the Books, the Summer Reading Program, and Grade School Tour Transportation,” Dizer said. “We’ve also provided funds to replace computers to support classes held at the library, equipment for library operations, and Writing Workshops. We’ve funded the upgrades to the Orchard Room (also home to our ReTale used-book store), Flood Recovery and replacement of Yellow Patron Baskets.”
The group has multiple different courses of action for their members to help better the Midland community. Their main focus is to nourish and enlarge the scope of the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library’s services and facilities for the entire community.
There is a specific event that the organization holds that captures a lot of attention. It is the semi-annual used book sale held in the months of April and October where they sell the lightly used books that are donated to the library. The book sale that is being held this month is from Friday, April 21 to Sunday, April 23 with a different event each day. The first day of the sale is for Friends of the Library members only. The second day is for the public, where anyone is able to go in and purchase books that are on sale. The last day of the sale is $5 bag day where anyone who comes into the sale is given a bag and is able to fill the bag with the total amount only being $5 per bag.
This semi-annual sale is a big source of income for the library. The impact of the revenue is seen all over the library.
“Used book sales and the Friends ReTale Market provide crucial funding to the Library to support the Summer Reading Program, Battle of the Books, Children’s Storytimes, literacy kits, new indoor play equipment in the lower level, equipment for computer classes and book mending, a microfilm scanner, and funding for the recent Orchard Room renovations and 2020 Flood recovery efforts,” The official Grace A. Dow Memorial Library website said.
Friends of the Library is run completely by volunteers. There are multiple levels of membership someone can purchase and benefits that come with the membership including members-only nights at used book sales. As well as opportunities such as being a book sale volunteer, a board member, and a library program volunteer. Other ways to support the organization are money donations, donating gently used media and books, and volunteering time to assist with children’s activities and basic care around the library.
The Friends of the Library organization aims to improve the community through many different means and will continue to in the future.
“By working closely with the library director and staff, we help keep the library a vibrant and valuable asset to the greater Midland community,” Dizer said.