Thank you to all who have renewed your membership for 2022. If you haven’t yet renewed, it is easy to do so. You can pay online at our website: www.friendsofashlandlibrary.org.
Jackson County Library Foundation is spearheading local participation in Library Giving Day. This one-day online fundraising event will occur nationwide on April 6, 2022, to encourage library lovers to support their library, the heart of the community. The Friends join the Founda- tion in inviting you to give a gift anytime now through April 6, 2022 by visiting jclf.org/donate. At the site, you can also learn more about Foundation projects that Library Giving Day will help support.
The meeting will be held Saturday, March 12, 2022 10-11 AM via Zoom
Join us for:
- A celebration of our 202l accomplishments
- A review of the Friends 2021 financial report
- Election of 2022-2024 directors
- An announcement of our major contribution to the Ashland Library that your gifts and memberships have made possible
- Assistant Director of Public Services Claudine Taillac’s report on current Jackson County Library Services district-wide programs and initiatives
- Library Manager Kristin Anderson’s update on current Ashland Library activities and a virtual tour of the lower level renovation
The meeting will be short but informative, so all of us on the board hope you can attend. Guests are welcome and the public is invited, so please feel free to forward the invitation to friends who may be interested.
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81384112745
Meeting ID: 813 8411 2745
Or via telephone at: 669-900-6833
By Kristin Anderson, Ashland Branch Manager
Who are our Friends, besides, well, friends?…And why do we have so many Friends? We have a Friends group that is affiliated with each of our 15 library locations.
Friends groups are critical to library success in many ways. They are separate entities, which gives them the ability to advocate for libraries in ways that the library itself cannot. In particular they are of critical import when there is an issue on the ballot for library funding that needs to get passed. Friends groups can campaign for the library. The library, itself, cannot. The Friends groups throughout Jackson County played a huge part in supporting the establishment of the Jackson County Library District. We have the stable library system we have today due in large part to their efforts. Through these efforts, an elected Library District Board was created, which sets library policies and governs the actual operations of the branches… so, the Friends don’t run the libraries themselves, but they were hugely critical in ensuring that the County has libraries into the future. For this, all of us who work for Jackson County Library Services and live in the County are grateful!
On top of this important advocacy work, our Friends groups do fundraising for the library system in all sorts of ways. The most visible way this happens is through our library books sales, but there are other creative ways our Friends raise money to support library initiatives. Friends membership dues also support Friends functions. Silent auctions and Holiday Boutique events have also been used in pre-pandemic times to support Friends initiatives. These funds have supported our innovative programs over the years. From crafts (both in-person and Take & Make varieties) to refreshments at programs to paying for outside presenters our Friends help make the library mission come to life.
While the function of fundraising for capital improvements comes primarily from the Jackson County Library Foundation, some Friends groups have cash reserves such that they are able to contribute to large-scale capital improvements when the District identifies such needs. Currently, The Friends of the Ashland Library are supporting a renovation to the lower level where the meeting rooms are located. This refurbished space should be able to reopen to the public early in 2022 with new, more flexible furniture, fresh finishes, and updated technology. This is an exciting project, with additional renovation projects likely to follow throughout the system as we begin to build a county-wide facilities master plan. The role the Friends played in this specific circumstance was one of both advocacy (it was their voices that first raised the need for the renovation) and financial support. The project, when complete, will have been funded by Friends, Jackson County Library Foundation, Jackson County Library District, and other funds restricted to the Ashland Library.
I’ve had the opportunity to attend meetings of four separate Friends groups in the last month, and one of the things I take away from them every time is the level of engagement these library users have with their libraries. The relationship between the library itself and Friends is particularly complex in a community that recognizes the need for a Friends group at each branch. It is more common for a system of the size of JCLS to have a single unified Friends organization. We value each of these Friends groups and appreciate their ongoing support of JCLS’s mission, vision, and values.
If you want to get involved in your local Friends group, they are always eager for new members: both people who are interested in being members and, often, in people who are interested in volunteering to serve on their board. You can find more information about many of the individual Friends groups here: https://jcls.org/about/get-involved/friends-of-the-library/. If the branch you are interested in doesn’t have a link, reach out to the branch and they will be happy to connect you.
If you are doing year-end tax planning and are interested in the Cultural Trust Tax Credit, many of our Friends groups, as well as Jackson County Library Foundation, are eligible nonprofits. You can find more information at this link: https://culturaltrust.org/get-involved/donate/