Friends of Cresco Library support projects
Wed, 07/25/2018 - 5:42pm admin
Sara Stromseth-Troy TPD Staff
CRESCO - As the 21st century progresses with increased reliance on the Internet, some might assume the continued existence of public libraries is in peril.
However, many libraries, including Cresco Public Library, are fully equipped to cater to 21st century information needs. The library is a continuing-education resource for everyone, including those who do not have the financial means to afford their own at-home Internet connection.
In addition, Cresco Public Library features a Wi-fi signal, an e-Library, where patrons may use their library cards to download eBooks or audio books free of charge to their electronic devices, and other free online research resources. The library offers diverse and entertaining programming events throughout the year for all ages, and timely and informative book and movie displays.
Behind the scenes, for the past 25 years, the Friends of the Cresco Public Library provide crucial support for the library’s two major fund-raising events: The annual silent auction and the annual used book sale.
The silent auction, held in October, primarily benefits funding of the Children’s Summer Reading Program, which draws the best in children’s entertainers and an audience of over 100 people to each weekly event during the month of June. Funding also goes to adult programming.
The used book sale, held at the end of April each year, benefits the Cresco Public Library’s subscription to the e-Library, BRIDGES, and its other online resources, which are free for patrons to use.
Linda Hovey joined the Friends of the Cresco Public Library last year.
“I signed up at the used book sale in 2017,” she said. “I want the library to be around forever.”
She said she enjoys being a Friend of the Cresco Public Library because she is able to socialize with others and help raise funds to bring more children to the library.
Susan Chailquist is a long-time member of the Friends of the Cresco Public Library.
“A group of women started it, and then it dissolved for awhile and got going again. I enjoy helping the library, because I use it. I like to encourage the use of it. This is a good project for me.”
Now approximately one dozen members strong, the Friends continues to seek new members to join its cause. They are always on the lookout for fresh faces and new ideas.
“In the past, the Friends group has done murder-mystery events, and that went over well, but you could only have a small group of people involved, each assigned a character, so that fell by the wayside,” Chailquist said. “The silent auction and book sale have been very popular. I like to see all of the craft items people are doing, and I know one lady who does all of her Christmas shopping at the auction each year.”
The used book sale also draws a large crowd at the end of April. Library patrons may drop off used books in like-new or good condition throughout the year during regular library hours (no encyclopedia sets, Readers Digest Condensed Books, or health textbooks are accepted).
Silent A-auction items may be dropped off during regular library hours throughout the month of September. The last day to drop off donations is Saturday, Sept. 29 at 12 p.m.
Cresco Public Library Director Cynthia Kay said she was pleased to discover a Friends of the Library group in existence when she was hired last year.
“When I first applied for the job and heard that there was a Friends of the Library group, I was excited. I find the group to be incredibly valuable to the heart of the library. When you have a Friends group, you know there are dedicated people who want to support the library and make it a community project. I am a person who likes to get involved, so I’m grateful I’ve been able to provide assistance with those projects,” she said.
Kay said she is also happy the Friends of the Library offer to volunteer:
“When I have a need for volunteers, the Friends group steps up. I started a volunteer program here at the library, and if we have extra projects going on, like the Children’s Summer Reading Program or Story Hour, some of those volunteers are a part of the Friends group,” she said.
Although the Friends of the Cresco Public Library have also initiated additional projects, such as the Adult and Children’s Reading Contest held at the library during Cresco’s 150th Celebration two years ago, Chailquist said they are continuing to seek new ways they can help support their local public library.
“We always need new Friends of the library,” Chailquist said. “We meet a couple of times before each big fund-raising event and set up for both.”
Those interested in joining the Friends group may call Cresco Public Library at: 563-547-2540.
The next meeting of the Friends of the Cresco Public Library takes place Monday, Aug. 6 at 6:30 p.m.