There are many things and people that I am thankful for when it comes to Keene Memorial Library, but this season, I am especially thankful to the Friends of Keene Memorial Library. Now that I fully understand how everything works here at the library, I have a greater appreciation for what the Friends group does for the library.

As many may not know, a great deal of the programming and program supplies that we provide to our patrons, comes from the Friends group. For instance, the Summer Reading Program is always a huge success and as part of that program, we offer big events on Mondays like String Beans music group; Mrs. Science, Dino O’Dell; and Wildlife Encounters. We receive a great deal of the funding for these programs from the Friends group. They also provide program supplies such as snacks, drinks, and other miscellaneous needs for the event. The Friends of Keene Memorial Library also helps with events such as Santa and Mrs. Claus, Jerry Barlow, and other artists and authors. The funding from the Friends group is essential to the library’s success in providing programs, author visits, musicians, Summer Reading Program events, and other smaller events.

Although the funding is extremely important, the volunteer time we receive from all the great members of the Friends group is very important and growing every day. There are volunteers who sort all year round for the big book sale, those who help us with library-related activities like cataloging and shelf-reading, and those members of Friends that step up whenever we need an extra body for an outreach program or short-notice activity when we don’t have enough library staff to fill the need.

And now more than ever, the Friends of Keene Memorial Library is vital to the success of our library, as they are in the forefront of our expansion project. The funding for the expansion project will run through the Friends group and the initial expenditures for the Space Needs Assessment was funded by the Friends group. The grants we write to secure funding for the expansion project will also come through the Friends group.

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And of course, the Friends members can always be counted on to share information about the library and to show support for the library in times of need or crisis. If we have a challenge facing the library, the members of the Friends group are willing to write letters, make phone calls, or show up at meetings to discuss the importance of the library.

These important examples above to not do justice to the amount of work and time the Friends of Keene Memorial Library puts into making sure our library is a successful library. Sometimes people just need to hear “thank you” and get a little bit of gratitude from those that benefit from their endeavors. So with that, I say THANK YOU to all the members of Friends of Keene Memorial Library!

Tina Walker is Director of Keene Memorial Library in Fremont.

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