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Friends, indeed

Library club funds special projects

Michelle Balleck

The old Payless Shoesource at Centennial Mall was lined with used books Friday and Saturday, including romance novels, children’s pop-up books and encyclopedias. And no matter what the book, it cost 50 cents per pound.

The Friends of the Library club has held the sale annually for 10 years as its sole fund-raiser to finance many Moffat County Libraries programs throughout the year.

“We generally manage to take about $2,000 out of the community,” said Donna Watkins, director of the three libraries and secretary of Friends. “It’s usually very successful. It gives us enough money to supplement the summer reading program.”



This year, the monies will be used toward special programs, especially children’s reading events, Watkins said. The organization accepts a large load of donations from individuals throughout the year as well as funds from United Way.

“There’s been a Friends group since the late 60s, early 70s,” Watkins said.



She noted the club became tax-exempt in 1998, and all monies they receive must be used toward library-related programs.

“People are getting to give more money to the Friends group than the memorial fund for the library because it’s under county control,” Watkins said.

The group donates to the Craig Performing Arts Project, Watkins said, because it is a literacy group.

Some of the items purchased by Friends were a snow blower to keep the sidewalks clean, three ceiling fans to cut down on heating, ventilation and air conditioning costs and half of the rare book case at the Craig branch of the libraries.

Friends also makes up baby book bags to give to the mothers of newborns delivered at The Memorial Hospital. They include age-appropriate books and information about the importance of early reading.

The group has 25 to 30 members, but only seven or eight active ones. Anyone can be a Friends member for $5 annually, or $25 for businesses.


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