Written by Denise Nash Friday, 18 September 2009 07:43
The Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library relies on the generosity of volunteers as well as employees to keep their operation running properly. The Friends of the Library, was proposed over a decade ago by a now retired library board member who wanted the Plainview Old Bethpage Public Library to reap the benefits that others did across the United States from the support of a friends group. At that time, the Library Board and staff eagerly supported the all-volunteer organization from its inception.
Currently there are over 150 members all taking advantage of the tax-deductible annual fee of $5 per person or $10 for a family membership.
According to Carol Meschkow, publicity co-chair for the Friends of the Library, the group was organized to assist the library in fundraising efforts and public relations. They do this by focusing the community’s attention on the library’s good work and conducting an annual book sale fundraiser, which is taking place next month, to assist the library in procuring library materials and equipment not available through their budget.
Some past gifts that the Friends have bestowed upon the library from proceeds of the book sale and membership drives include: a lectern and decorative screen for meeting rooms, a grand piano for the auditorium, book display racks for the family center and an LCD monitor to advertise library programs.
The Friends group also hosts cultural, educational and/or entertaining programs that are free to the community. For example, last spring among other events they hosted internationally acclaimed pianist, composer and arranger Jeffrey Biegel, coordinated the annual photo contest and exhibit in conjunction with POBJFKHS, and entertained guests at the Open House Tea with a lecture and book signing by cookbook author Marion Celenza along with vocal and dance performers from POBJFKHS.
Meschkow explained that the Friends group holds an annual open house membership appreciation tea in June that coincides with their membership renewal period. However, new members are welcome to join anytime throughout the year.
“The Friends of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Library are a remarkable group of individuals that give a great deal of their time and energy to supporting and promoting the services of the public library,” said Library director Gretchen Browne. “I love working with them and appreciate their good will and good spirits.”