Let's Be Friends!

Are you a library lover? Are the Patrick Beaver Memorial Library and the Ridgeview Branch Library two of your favorite places to visit? If you answered yes to either of these questions, the Friends of Hickory Public Library invite you to join the Friends group.

"The Friends provide support and services to the library," says Rochelle Walton, president of the nonprofit organization at Patrick Beaver. "Your membership and participation are essential in helping us to provide an amazing array of programs and other initiatives that enhance both our libraries' offerings."

The Friends organize the annual four-day October book sale and several smaller sales throughout the year, operate the Corner Book Store at Patrick Beaver Library year round, sell gaily decorated and seasonally themed gift baskets, and stage other fundraising events. The money raised from these activities supports the kids' Summer Reading Program, senior and preschool outreach activities, and the kids' annual Bookmark Contest, and brings visiting authors and adult programs and special events to both Patrick Beaver and Ridgeview.

In addition, the Friends provide non-budgeted items to the libraries, such as computers for the Children's Room and teen area furnishings, support legislative issues important to the state's libraries, and organize staff appreciation.

Friends members have first access to the annual book sale, receive invitations to special events, are mailed a quarterly newsletter, and have the opportunity to volunteer for special library activities.

Currently, the Friends are in the process of redecorating the foyer at Patrick Beaver, adding artwork and refreshing the seating. Several book sale dates are being finalized, and a Books to Big Screen evening has been initiated for the winter months, which includes a free movie and popcorn for Friends and their guests. Last June's successful mini-golf event for kids and their dads will return for Father's Day weekend.

Additionally, the Hickory Friends will host the Friends of North Carolina Public Libraries (FONCPL) Spring Workshop for the West Central area on Saturday, March 24, at Patrick Beaver, a wonderful networking event that gives Friends members the opportunity to share some of the things that Friends groups across the region are doing.

"Membership in the Friends is open to anyone interested in supporting our activities and goals," says Walton. "We need your support to meet our goals and to share in our activities - both of which help our libraries succeed and thrive. Pick up a Friends of Hickory Public Library brochure at either library to learn more and then join us as a proud supporter of Hickory's public libraries."

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