If you’ve been following our blog for any length of time or are a resident of Carroll County, you likely know about our quest to raise money for a new library building. Whenever people ask us what they can do to help, donating to our Berryville Library Building Project fund probably comes to mind first. And, of course, that’s a fantastic way to help. But if you really want to help, we ask that you also join the Friends of the Berryville Library.
This week is National Friends of Libraries Week. Friends groups are indispensable allies for libraries everywhere, but our Friends group is particularly important to us because it has been one of the driving forces in helping us reach our goal of building a new library.
But the work is not over! We still need to raise another $1,500,000 to build the 10,000-square-foot building that would allow us the space we need for our collection and programming needs.
Last year, we were able to raise $20,000 for the campaign in honor of Library Giving Day, and we’re hoping to do the same thing–or even better–for Library Giving Day (April 6) this year. In fact, we’re stretching it out to be a Library Giving Week, April 3 to 10. 🙂
I’ve often written on here about the importance of Friends of the Library groups, in particularly our own hard-working Friends of the Berryville Library, Inc. And that importance can’t be overstated now, especially since we launched our fundraising campaign for a new library facility six months ago.
We’ve raised an amazing amount of money in that time (nearly $985,000–39% of our goal), and we have continued to grow our Friends membership to a record 175 people.
Yesterday (April 1) at 2 p.m., the Berryville Public Library hosted a press conference outside the building to make several significant announcements. It may have been April Fool’s Day, but we weren’t fooling, and we were so excited to share our good news with our community!
I’ve written on here before about the importance of Friends of the Library groups. Libraries provide their communities with a better future through access to information, books, and technology (and more), but Friends of the Library groups provide libraries themselves with a better future. That’s because Friends groups provide funding and volunteers for operations and services that the library may not be able to provide the community with their existing budget and staffing. They also function as advocates for the library.
As we’re in the early planning stages of building a new library facility (and raising the money to pay for it), it’s been so energizing to see how many people in our community are excited and want to help. That’s what they ask–how can I help?
And the short answer right now is please join the Friends of the Berryville Public Library.
I usually write here from my perspective as a staff member at the Berryville Library, but I’m going to switch sides, if you will, for today and write from my perspective as a board member for our Friends of the Berryville Library group.