Newcomers learn about Friends of the Library


Published: Thursday, May 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 30, 2003 at 10:12 p.m.
Newcomers Club members learned at their last luncheon meeting that the Alachua County Friends of the Library love their work.
Beverly Bartlett brought literature for each member of Newcomers about the goals, principles and materials her group supplies the library district with the funds generated by their book sales, public funds and generous gifts. Bartlett first came to FOL in 1989. She has been president, treasurer, book manager and vice chair trustee on the board of directors, Library Foundation, serving in each capacity since its inception. It is a mission she thoroughly enjoys.
She said "Friends' primary objective is to give funds for needs not otherwise covered in the library's budget. We have given over $1 million to the library. FOL also sponsors a variety of activities, providing programs for all ages, including essay contests, visits from local authors and donating books to local charities. Volunteers even help children with homework and give library books to preschoolers."
One program is "Snuggle Up and Read," in which Head Start children are each given a book with their name inside. By the time they finish the program, they will have three books that they own."
Besides serving the community at the headquarters on E. University Avenue, the branches are located at Alachua, Archer, Hawthorne, High Springs, Micanopy, Millhopper, Newberry, Tower Road and Waldo. Two bookmobiles also service the county at retirement communities, nursing homes and the Alachua County Jail.
The 100 percent volunteer organization conducts a spring (it ended Wednesday) and fall book sale. They use the proceeds to purchase books, special program for children and adults, and special literary projects. The book sales are a great success. When FOL began in 1954 the first sale made $84; last year they raised $133,000.
Friends of the Library accept new and used books, art prints, tapes, records, CDs, videos, globes, games and puzzles, travel books, children's books and cookbooks. They have their own building at 430 N. Main St.

Rosemarie Butler-Vomacka conducted the meeting in the absence of President Gwen Mann, who was vacationing in Brussels. Visitors were introduced by Vice President Karin Maier. She brought Sabine Faulhaber, a school friend visiting from Germany. Emily Martin was guest of Sue Bottomley; Loretta Quincet, mother of Anita Brown, Joyce vanGiesen and Lois Lamont were guests of Anne Gaskins. Ginny Abass and Opal MacDougal also were first time visitors. Jean Schoener, a guest of Evelyn Snodgrass, joined.
Newcomers' next luncheon meeting will be Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn West on Newberry Road. "It's Never Too Late - The Benefits of Fitness for Any Age at Any Stage" will be brought by Gainesville Health and Fitness Center. Reservations are required; call 372-8385.

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