As the songs say, "You've Got to Have Friends" and "We Get By With a Little Help From Our Friends," this is especially true for the East Lansing Public Library (ELPL). Actually, we get by with a lot of help from our Friends of the East Lansing Public Library (FOELPL). While we are extremely grateful for our Friends every day, we pay special homage to them the week of October 15 to 21 because it is the American Library Association's National Friends of the Library Week!
The Friends of the East Lansing Public Library give ELPL $30,000 to $40,000 annually for programs and materials. The FOELPL provide funds for our Concerts in the Cafe, storytimes, Practice Your English, Summer Reading Club, Cooking with Miss Emily, crafts, science programs and so much more. They also supplement our collection development budget so that we can continue to purchase the physical and digital items our patrons want.
How do the Friends do this? It is not easy! They work tirelessly almost every day picking up, cleaning, sorting, pricing and displaying donated books, CDs and DVDs that the community donates. They carry boxes of books out of garages and trunks of cars so that they can resell them and raise money for the library. To be quite honest it is hard work but, our FOELPL volunteers do it with great gusto and cheer. They ready the donations so that they can sell them in their shop, which is located just to the right of the main entrance of the library. A year ago, the Friends renamed their shop from the The Friendshop to Marsha's Friendshop in honor of long time Friends volunteer and shop curator, Marsha Bristor. Thanks to the library renovation in 2016, the shop was relocated to the old audiovisual room and it grew in size. The new Friends area has an additional 32 shelves compared to their previous location. This gives our patrons more great gently used books, CDs and DVDs to buy. Patrons can also support the FOELPL by donating to the Friends at: https://www.elpl.org/donate-to-the-friends/
Please join me in thanking our FOELPL and "Thank You for Being a Friend."