FRIENDS!!! Your generous membership made programs for all age groups possible even during a time when many places were ending or curtailing services. Your impact, enabled the Library Staff to provide services such as e-books, children’s materials, staff lunches, author visits, the Children’s Bookmobile and its exterior design, and grant services.
- Before the shut-down, the Friends hosted authors Jessica Handler and Kimmery Martin.
- The Friends supplied the annual license for e-books: This year, demand for these books soared. In fact, even before the year ended, a whopping 5,000 more e-books were checked out in 2020 than in the previous year.
- The Friends purchased supplemental packets for the Library’s annual Children’s Summer Reading Program. When face to face programming ended, rather than cancel, this annual set of events went virtual/distant. Its 57 virtual programs hosted 6345 initial views…views that were then shared. The library delivered 252 Reading Packets and sent 646 Make & Take Crafts bags.
- The Friends provided lunches for the staff twice, as much deserved THANK YOUs for their outstanding work.
- The Friends has provided a one-of-a-kind exterior artwork for the new Children’s Bookmobile by noted children’s author and illustrator, Will Hillenbrand.
- Our donors, both corporate and private, deserve especial thanks this year. Unless the old bookmobile was replaced, the library’s bookmobile services would come to an end. The staff obtained grants funds that started the process of buying a new bookmobile, but they were not enough to allow the purchase. The Friends and the staff joined in making a public request for the necessary funds, a request that appeared on page one of the Florence Morning News—and an anonymous donor stepped forward within the day to secure the purchase with a gift of $70,000. Other Friends donors then provided funds to “stock” the bookmobile and to supplement our regular funds. Their generosity will support generations of child readers. Florence County joins us in thanking these benefactors.