Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Friends of Libraries Week: October 19-25, 2008

The New York Library Association is pleased to announce that the week of October 19-25, 2008 has been proclaimed the 2nd Friends of Libraries Week in New York State by Governor Paterson at the request of the State Legislature.

There are 754 public libraries in New York State serving over 9 million library card holders [51% of the state’s population]. The majority of these libraries have Friends groups that help raise both public awareness and financial support for their libraries, in addition to Friends groups among NYS school, academic and special libraries.

The public support and financial contributions garnered by these Friends groups help their libraries in providing enhanced programming, like expanded summer reading and story time programs, purchasing new equipment and technology, and supporting special events, such as visiting authors and artists.

Libraries statewide on average receive 15% of their annual operating revenue from fundraising efforts like those undertaken by Friends groups [76% comes from local taxes and 9% from state aid]. Friends’ efforts are critical to the ability of libraries to meet the growing needs of their patrons when state and local funding remains static or reduced.

‘Friends groups are comprised of volunteers of all ages and walks of life who believe that libraries are an essential public service and a critical component to a successful community.’ States Susan Swanton, Vice President of Empire Friends Roundtable [EFR] and advocate for National Friends of Libraries Week participation.

‘Thanks to Empire Friends Roundtable winning Friends of Libraries USA [FOLUSA] recognition of EFR’s efforts advocating for a Friends of Libraries Week, EFR is going to ‘pay it forward’ by sponsoring a contest similar to FOLUSA’s National Friends of Libraries Week contest for members of EFR. For details on this contest, see www.nyla.org and go to EFR’s web pages under Roundtables.

‘The New York Library Association encourages all libraries to work with their Friends groups to promote Friends of Libraries Week for October 19-25, 2008 by organizing special events that highlight the contributions and efforts of your library’s Friends group.’ Stated Michael J. Borges, NYLA Executive Officer.

For additional information about Friends of Libraries Week, contact Susan Swanton, VP, Empire Friends Roundtable, 284 Gatewood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14624 [585] 247-0142 or sswanton@rochester.rr.com

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