Westerly Library and Wilcox Park is blessed to have so many people to help care for it. In addition to our paid staff, there are a great number of people who contribute to the success of the library: volunteers that are elected to our Board of Trustees, innumerable committees, a list of Incorporators, volunteers who help with many of our everyday tasks, generous donors, community members, and — of course — our amazing library and park patrons.
But there is a special group of folks that support Westerly Library and Wilcox Park that are true friends to the library and park.; they are the Friends of the Memorial and Library Association of Westerly.
The Friends of the Library is an incredibly active group that has been around since 1972, and they work hard to raise funds to help support the library and park in whatever means possible. Through meetings, fundraisers, physical housekeeping, and advocacy, the Friends support us in ways no individual person could.
One of the most visible projects that the group manages is the highly successful Friends Book Sale, which they carry out several times each year. The funds raised at these sales go directly back into the library, and are used to support needs that the operating budget cannot. Most recently, this has included the impressive new audiovisual system and staging in our auditorium, as well as necessary window treatments. In previous years, their generosity afforded us bike racks for the park, fantastic new young adult materials such as the popular 3Doodlers, and our high-definition microfilm scanner in the Reference Department.
We will also be purchasing archival storage for our special collections and start microfilming and digitizing some of our more recent newspapers! We are truly grateful for everything that the Friends of the Library has gifted us, and which helps us offer better resources and support to our community.
As mentioned before, the Friends run book sales throughout the year. You won’t want to miss their upcoming Winter Book Sale, which runs from Wednesday, Dec. 6, through Saturday, Dec. 9. A preview night will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 5, and is open to Friends members only. If you aren’t currently a member, and would like the chance to purchase book sale items before it opens to the public (and become a member of this amazing group of individuals). You can purchase an annual membership at the door.
Be sure to stop by to see what steals you can find; you may discover a hidden gem, or uncover your next page-turner! I know I’ll be at the sale doing some Christmas (and personal) shopping and supporting our Friends and Westerly Library and Wilcox Park at the same time. Hope to see you there!
Brigitte Hopkins is the executive director of the Westerly Library.