The Alachua County Library District celebrates National Friends of Libraries Week Oct. 20-26 by thanking our Friends of the Library for their invaluable contributions to our public library system.
In 2019, Friends of the Library (FOL) celebrates 65 years of supporting library services and 30 years of hosting book sales at the Book House, 430-B N. Main St. The organization has provided more than $5.1 million to the Library District since 1986 when the Alachua County Library District became an independent special taxing district, contributions that fund exceptional programming, in-demand materials, and remodel projects at our branches.
FOL is an all-volunteer organization primarily funded by biannual book sales that attract shoppers from across Florida and the Southeast. In fiscal year 2018-2019 alone, FOL provided more than $45,000 for local library programs. FOL has funded Quiet Reading Rooms at multiple branches, providing patrons with a peaceful space to read, study, and work. The nonprofit has also empowered staff members to continuing their education by granting $314,00 in scholarships for library employees.
In addition to supporting the Library District, FOL provides mini grants to nonprofits and educational groups that enrich the cultural life of Alachua County each spring and fall. Since 2000, the organization has also distributed children’s books to Head Start classrooms throughout the county. Volunteers distributed more than 670 copies of "Jabari Jumps” this year.
You can support FOL and your local public library system with your donations, time, and dollars. Here’s how:
- The Fall Book Sale is Saturday, Oct. 19 through Wednesday, Oct. 23 at the Book House. Visit www.folacld.org for hours and information.
- FOL welcomes new members year-round. Annual memberships are $10 year for students, $10 for seniors, $15 for individuals, and $25 for a family.
- Volunteers help all year with intake and sorting donations into 65 categories. Book sale volunteers are also needed to staff the spring and fall sales. Call 352-375-1676 to leave a message for the volunteer coordinator or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- FOL accepts books, artwork, DVDs, vinyl records, puzzles, board games, and more at the Book House. Donations can be made 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m.-noon Fridays and Saturdays.
The Alachua County Library District also benefits from the support of Friends of the Micanopy Library, Friends of the Alachua Library, and High Springs Library Friends. These organizations enrich their communities and branches in many ways, including tutoring programs, volunteer hours, and donations.
- High Springs Friends: Members regularly volunteer at the branch and also provide supplies and funds for programming.
- Friends of the Micanopy Library: Sponsors the Micanopy Tutoring program, which provides tutoring Mondays through Thursdays for elementary through high school students. The group also supports special programs.
- Friends of the Alachua Library: Organized the first library in the City of Alachua in 1981. Through their diligence and commitment to providing library services, the library became part of the Library District in 1987. Since then, they have provided staff support and volunteer services.They provide Homework Help, sponsor the annual African American Read In and local author visits, and assist through donations of money and time with the annual Gingerbread House program and summer programming.