The Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) will be spending the week of October 17th to 23rd celebrating its Charleston Friends of the Library (CFOL) group as part of the 16th annual celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week.
CFOL were established more than 30 years ago, and since 2008, they have raised more than $1.2 million for CCPL. The CFOL is a volunteer-run organization, from the Board of Directors to the sorting room and throughout the community at book sales and programs. Every year, these volunteers donate thousands of hours to make the Charleston community a better place to live, work, and learn.
The CFOL hosts several book sales, staffed by hundreds of eager volunteers, each year including “That BIG Book Sale,” which raises tens of thousands of dollars annually. Each year, the friends use funds from these sales to make a financial gift to CCPL. The library then uses these gifts to fund programs and to provide extra training for staff. Even during 2020 in the middle of the COVID pandemic, the CFOL were still able to gift CCPL $25,000.
“Charleston Friends of the Library is excited to celebrate National Friends of the library week with CCPL,” said FOL Operations Manager Nulani Bennett. “Even during the ups and downs of our new normal, the Friends and our amazing volunteers have been able to host three book sales, which in return helps fund CCPL programs such as Books on Buses, Summer Reading, and resources for programming. We’re thrilled to continue growing our partnership with CCPL and helping out our local libraries!”
CFOL day-to-day operations are led by Bennett, with support from a volunteer-run Board of Directors. Board officers and members include President Susan Hoffius, as well as Katie Norris, Karen Warren, Carin Jorgensen, Amanda Bunting Comen, Caleb Copper, Whitney Currin, Virginia Ellison, Savannah J. Frierson, Rebecca Hoffman, Tony Joyner, Clare Meyer, Angela Phillips, and Brand Reid.
“The Friends are a vital part of our libraries. I think most patrons would be surprised to learn how many of the services and programs they enjoy are made possible by the Friends,” said CCPL Executive Director Angela Craig. “They help our community in a big way and supporting them means supporting us.”
CCPL will be showing its love and appreciation for its Friends all week on the library’s social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). Last month, the CCPL Board of Trustees passed an official proclamation in honor of the CFOL for National Friends of Libraries Week.
Through book donations, volunteering, book sales, and more, there are a number of ways that you can help support your local library through the Friends. Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FOL can only take donations during library operating hours at the Main Library, located at 68 Calhoun Street in downtown Charleston.
Rusty Bull Brewing is also helping celebrate FOL Week. Come out to the brewery in North Charleston on Wednesday, October 20th for Friends Flight Night, where $1 of every pint sold will be donated to the Friends.
One of the easiest ways to show support for your local library and our Friends is to just become a Friend yourself. Just visit https://www.
The Charleston FOL also hosts the annual Black Ink Festival, which helps amplify the voices of African American writers. The festival will be hosted virtually on Jan. 13-15, 2022. Visit www.blackinkcharleston.org for more information.
National Friends of Libraries Week is coordinated by United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information, visit www.ala.org/united.
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