We all are aware of the value of the Centennial library for the community. In the basement of the library there is a volunteer group called “The Friends of the Library” that is performing an important role in the operation of the library as well as the community. The Friends of the Library provide an extensive selection of excellent low cost books for visitors to the area at the library and is open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Saturday.
I had the pleasure of meeting with Susan Hall who has recently taken over as President and Dorothy McNaughton who was past President for 10 years. Both have been active as volunteers for the “Friends” for over 10 years. Susan has reorganized, and expanded the space as well as reinvigorated the other volunteers.
Each week they receive between 30-40 boxes of books. Twelve volunteers take part in the sorting of the books. New books go to the library, others to categorized shelves in the Friends space or distributed to the Sault Area Hospital and the Community Soup Kitchen. Any remaining books are used for book sales throughout the year.
Since its inception in 1990, this non profit volunteer organization has raised over $400,000 dollars. Some of their activities and fundraisers include the following:
- purchasing equipment for the children’s departments of the Library
- co-sponsoring various children’s programs/entertainers such as Erehwon Theatre, Over the Rainbow and a Science North activities
- paying for magazine subscriptions for the Library
- bringing authors to the Library
- providing and serving refreshments for Library events
- holding several book sales annually
- sponsoring the Visunet Canada Partners Program
Susan and her group of volunteers are especially proud of their contribution to the Community by organizing and directly participating in the recycling and reuse of the donated books. When asked why they are involved with The friends of the Library, both Susan and Dorothy said because the wanted to give back to the community, they believe in the importance of the library and their love of books.
It’s such a pleasure to meet such wonderful people who have such a deep commitment to the welfare of the community.
For anyone interested in volunteering with the “Friends”, they can always use additional assistance when hosting their activities. More information as well as a digital copy of their newsletter can be found here: http://ssmpl.ca/about-us/friends-of-the-library/.