Friends of Library aim to increase membership

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On Sept. 13, from 4-6 p.m. the Friends of the Friday Memorial Library in New Richmond will host a wine and cheese party preceding the group’s annual meeting.

“We haven’t had an annual meeting for several years, so this meeting is part of the revitalization of the Friends,” said Friends of the Library board member Jerry Pults. “This meeting is also a way for the Friends to get together, socialize and talk about library matters.”

The social hour will be followed by a short meeting of the members, which will include the election of the Board of Directors for the group.

“We are adding the wine and cheese party as a way to get everyone acquainted so we all know each other in the group,” said board member Patricia Herr. “We are looking for members to tell us what they would want us to do with the money we are raising and to get their opinions on a few other subjects as well.”

The Friends of the New Richmond Library is a nonprofit organization designed to support and provide financial assistance to the New Richmond library.

Although the meeting is for members of the Friends of the Library, the group is encouraging all those who are interested in joining the Friends, and would like to help support the library, to attend the meeting.

“With a new library being built becoming more of a possibility, we are anticipating more need for the library,” Herr said. “That is why we are making this push to increase our membership. We are hoping to use the wine and cheese as a way to entice people who are not already members to join the group. The meeting is not just for people who have a passing interest. Anyone who shows up should be ready to commit to joining the group when they come to the meeting.”

Memberships run from $10 to $50 and will be available at the event.

The wine and cheese party, as well as the annual meeting, is part of a concerted effort to expand the ranks of the group and reflects the growing activism of the Friends in the community.

“We are looking to be a very diverse group that is reflective of the community,” Pults said. “In the past, we have not reached out much to the younger families and we would really like to be more inclusive and encouraging of those families to join. If you are interested in the library or have children who come with you all the time to the library, you really should belong to the Friends, because our sole mission in life, as a non-profit, is to help the library serve the community.”

Along with the members of the Friends, Library Director Kimberly Hennings and multiple Library Board members will be on hand to discuss the new library plans and status.

“We are looking to expand our ability to work with the library,” Pults said. “I talked with Kim recently and we talked about what kinds of things she would like to have from the Friends.”

The Friends of the Library have also created six new committees which they will be soliciting members to join during the upcoming meeting, including the Events, Shut-In Book Delivery, Book Sale, Advocacy and Publicity, Membership and Nominations and Election committees.

“One of the things we see is that people on their membership forms are saying that they would love to be more involved,” Pults said. “So now, we are trying to tap into that energy and give them something to be involved in. For all those people who want to be active in the group, this is their chance to sign up for one of the committees and take part in something.”

For more information on the Friends, visit newrichmondlibrary.org and click on the “Support Us” link. Anyone interested in getting involved can contact Nancy Hansen at 715-246-6672 or call the Library at 715-243-0431.