Friends behind the scenes

The Friends of the Library run a bookstore in the lower level of the Medfield Public Library.

By Geena Matuson
Hometown Weekly Staff

‘Friends of the Library’ isn’t just a term for people who really like a good book - it’s also the name of a community organization that donates over $20,000 to Medfield Public Library annually, along with scholarship opportunities and grants, museum passes for patrons, events and more. Friends of the Library (“Friends” or “FOL” for short) is a volunteer-driven group focusing on financial support for the library, community outreach and engagement with library resources, and encouragement of participation in library activities. You might be surprised to learn of the range of activities the FOL helps to sponsor, including the aforementioned museum passes, a variety of children’s and adult programs, book purchases, music programs, those handy self-checkout stations, shelving and book carts, books on CD, DVDs, software programs and more.

FOL also awards $3,000 in scholarship grants to local high school students each year. The $2,000 Amy Fiske and Friends of the Library Scholarship is awarded to an MHS graduating senior, a $500 Grant is awarded for poetry to a student in grades 9-12, and a second $500 Grant is awarded for prose to a student in grades 9-11. This year’s scholarship grant recipients will be announced today, June 9, and will be personally presented by Friends of the Library President Ninette van Lingen.

Additionally, FOL runs a bookstore in the library’s lower level where one can find all the New York Times’ best sellers – including titles by James Patterson, Stuart Woods, Michael Crichton, Jodi Picoult, and more - for just $3. FOL is working on new events and initiatives to bring community awareness to their organization, including “Fall Into Friends,” one of its new campaigns the FOL will announce this September, along with special plans for Medfield Day.

Currently, the Friends have 280 members and would love to grow to 500 by the end of the year. People who support Friends of the Library are supporting the library itself, and are therefore supporting the community; the Friends’ $20,000 yearly donation to the library is gathered through an annual membership fee and fundraising initiatives. Being a member of FOL means giving back, and annual membership is just $15 per individual or $30 per family.

Medfield residents are invited to join the Friends of the Library, and can pick up a membership form at the library front desk, or email FOL at medfieldlibraryfriends@gmail.com. Membership is open year-round, and interested residents can learn more about the Friends online at www.medfieldpubliclibrary.org/friends-of-the-library.

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