Library group looking for Friends

The Fort Dodge Public Library is seeking families, businesses and individuals to become financial supporters of the library this month.

Beginning Jan. 27 members of the Friends of the Fort Dodge Public Library board will hold a membership drive in the library. They will have a table set up with information on the group and how to become a member, where the money is used and what the board does to help.

“We will be there the last week of January,” said Judy Pritchard, president of the Friends board.

Throughout the year, the Friends group uses membership donations and sponsorships, along with proceeds from the Friends bookstore located in the library to host various programs and assist the library in purchasing items not always covered in the general budget.

“We host many programs at the library, the children’s programs and do a lot of volunteer work,” said Pritchard. “We help purchase the library computers, lots of things they don’t always have the funds for.”

“They provide the funds for our newspapers and magazines,” said Barb Schultz, director of the Fort Dodge Public Library. “They also have our children, teen and adult programming and provide the funding for many of the online programs that we have available.”

The Friends also have the bookstore located just inside of the library entrance. All proceeds other than the few operating expenses of the store go directly back into the library, Friends volunteer Pat Milefchik said.

“All of the money raised here and in our book sales helps the library,” said Milefchik. “We are a recycling center for books, puzzles, CDs and DVDs.”

In addition to individual and family memberships, the Friends of the Library is seeking corporate business partnerships, Milefchik said.

“It’s important to get those business partnerships,” she said. “Often they give what we would make at a book sale in one day.”

Friends members receive quarterly newsletter and sponsor programs and events and make many other contributions, but there is no obligation to volunteer, Pritchard said.

“When you join the Friends you are not obligated to do anything with us,” she said. “We do a lot of volunteering, but as a Friend you can enjoy our programs and activities that we help fund.”

There is also an opening on the Friends of the Library board, Pritchard said.

“We have an opening and anyone is welcome to serve in that position,” she said.