Friends' Officers and Committees
Officers for the 2021-22 fiscal year are:
President: Linda Weight
Vice President: Open
Secretary: Maire Testa
Treasurer: Simone Moore
Members-at-large: Jeanne Kimball, Geraldine McMahon,
Annie Schmidt, Frank Williams
Committee Chairs include:
Membership: Merilee Mulvey
Book Sales: Cathy Lang
Card Workshop: Geraldine McMahan
Book Sorting: Duane Fowler
Publicity: Linda Weight
Web/Social Media/Newsletter: Maire Testa
History of the Friends of the Siuslaw Public Library
In May, 1978, the Friends of the Florence Public Library, Inc., was recognized as a corporation by the State of Oregon. Later, as the library district grew and changed its name to the Siuslaw Public Library District, the Friends of the Florence Public Library also changed its name. The Statement of Purpose in 1978 was this:
The purposes of this corporation are to maintain an association of persons interested in books and libraries, to focus public attention on library services, facilities, and needs; to strengthen and expand library services and to stimulate the use of the library facilities as a resource center for the community; and to assist the board and staff with suggestions that are deemed helpful.
From its beginnings, a major activity of the FOL has been planned events for sales of donated used books to raise funds to support Library needs. In addition to the planned events, for at least 12 years, the FOL has sponsored an ongoing sale of donated, used books and magazines available from a small set of shelves whenever the Library is open.
Another activity sponsored by the FOL since its beginnings, sometimes with the financial help of the Library program budget, is programs on various topics of public interest. The FOL has also partnered with the Library and the Oregon Council of Humanities (OCH) for programs offered by scholars and experts through their catalog of speakers.
The FOL sponsored a monthly book review program called "Books and Bags." The volunteer reviewers were drawn primarily from participants, though sometimes the chairperson solicited other local people to do book reviews. This program is currently on hiatus.
In 2001, the Library, with the support of the FOL and a local insurance agency, sponsored a community-wide reading program called "The River Reads." A steering committee, formed mostly from the FOL, but also including other community leaders, chose the book Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson. A variety of activities including discussion groups, a showing of the movie version of the book, and a speaker on the internment camps for Japanese, took place in various locations throughout our community. All events were free and open to the public. Participation was excellent.
In 2008, the Library and the FOL, along with the OCH, sponsored a weekend of activities called "Writing the West." Noted author Richard Etulain spoke about writer Wallace Stegner on one day and on the next about Western history, literature, and art in a session designed to appeal to local book groups as well as the general public .
Other ongoing activities of the FOL are making greeting cards for sale at book sale events and in the library; sending our newsletter, "The Bookmark," 4 times annually; selling book bags; organizing volunteers to pick up litter on Library grounds. The FOL also provides a "conscience jar" for Library patrons who wish to donate for overdue book returns, even though late fees are not assessed by the Library. Each of these activities is designed to raise or save money for our Library.
Both financially and in time, the FOL has supported the attempts of the Library to pass bond measures by providing local voters with information. The FOL has contributed generously to the current building expansion as well.
A major purpose and activity of the FOL is to pay for Library needs that are beyond the Library budget. Some of our contributions and purchases are:
Computers and software, bookshelves, and books
A motorized cart for disabled patrons
Financial assistance for paving an adjacent alley
A lectern, sound system and chairs for the public room
Payment of interest on a property loan for a lot to expand parking
Cleaning the carpet in the public room as needed
Funding of Library activities such as the Summer Reading Program, a table at the annual Western Lane Community Foundation (WLCF) dinner, and continuing education courses for Library staff
Yearly contributions to the Book Endowment fund held by WLCF