The Friends of North Carolina Public Libraries (FONCPL) met in High Point last month for their annual meeting. FONCPL’s mission centers on promoting and developing excellent library service throughout the state by encouraging and assisting the formation, growth, and development of Friends of The Library groups across the state. FONCPL is comprised of five geographic areas and recognizes an outstanding Friends group from each area with the Frances B. Reid Award, named after and in honor of a former library development consultant from NC State Library. Out of twenty-three west central area counties, Ashe County Library Friends were chosen for the second year in a row as “Outstanding Friends Group of the Year.”
There is no denying how exceptional Ashe Friends are when looking back at all they do to support the library. Their fundraising efforts provide means for ALL library programs and activities designed to meet needs and interests of the community. Areas of focus include everything from early literacy, reading promotions, cultural enrichment, physical, mental, and economic well-being, to digital literacy, and a number of special events.
This year the Friends increased their yearly donation to the library’s budget in order to fund a successful Community Read. They also continue to support the county's annual literary festival On the Same Page. Our Friends not only provide funds needed for summer reading and weekly story time programs, but they host a yearly poetry contest for the county's fifth graders. Several Friends members visit local day care centers to read aloud to children and promote the library's early literacy program Growing Book by Book: A Thousand Books before Kindergarten. They participated in World Book Night, distributing 380 books to folks in the county, along with information about library services and an invitation to visit the library. The library’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program is operated by dedicated Friends members who work from January to mid-April, filing more than 1000 federal and state forms on behalf of low to moderate income residents.
The Friends maintain a wonderful gift/book shop in the library. Working daily shifts, the Friends Sales Team is able to keep the book store well-stocked and open during library hours. There is a lot happening behind the scenes as they sort and clean donated or discarded books for resale. Gift baskets filled with books and small gift items of a similar theme are another popular sales item in the Friends store. Some books are boxed and sent to Better World Books or sold on e-bay, bringing in a profit each quarter adding to in-house sales. Last year the Friends cleared over $17,500 in sales. Many hours go into operating the Friends’ shop and hosting special fundraising events. This year the Friends documented a total of 6,175 hours of service.
Friends also continue to hold monthly programs on interesting topics, presented by qualified speakers. All programs are free and advertised each month by the Friends on a local morning radio show and in newspapers. The Friends special programs provide opportunities for learning, inspiration, fellowship, and enrichment to the community. At every meeting the Friends are there to recruit new members and currently have 195 on their membership roll.
Ashe Library Dates to Remember in November:
For All Ages:
- A Super Hero Story Walk will be launched in Ashe County Park’ picnic shelter off of old highway 16 at 10:30 a.m. on November 7.
- A special “Snowflake” program to make snowflake mini flags before the Christmas Parade, as well as a snowball fight and information on snow science takes place at 10:30 a.m. on November 15. After the parade, stop in and celebrate International Games Day with giant life-size games.
- Get Crafty at the library with crocheting on November 7 and knitting on November 22. Classes are for all skill levels from 10:00 a.m. to12:00 p.m. Crocheting supplies are provided for the Great Afghan Project. This month the knitting project is a wool neck-warmer. For the neck-warmer, you will need size 10.5 needles and handspun, bulky weight yarn.
- Mountain Music Slow Jam Sessions meets each month every first and third Friday at 5:30 p.m. in the downstairs meeting room. This is an after-hours program with building access in the lower parking lot side entrance. Designed for beginners, but all skill levels are welcome. Bring your instrument and join the fun.
- Join the NaNoWriMo Write-in throughout the day on November 22 and crank out the word count on your novel project.
- Baby Bounce takes place at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesdays. This is a short 15-20 minute program for infants and babies that will include finger plays, songs, rhymes, and a book or two.
- Tot Time for 2-3 year olds is at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays.
- Story Time for 4-5 year olds is at 10:30 a.m. every Thursday.
- Creative Challenge for grades K-5 is at 3:30 p.m. and features “Art with Frenchy.”
- Geek out with Otaku’s United Anime / Manga Club at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.
- NaNoWriMo Young Writers Meets at 3:30 p.m. on Fridays and will feature an activity each week to unlock creativity.
- The Hangout explores “A Day in Ancient Rome” at 4:00 p.m. on November 6. Create Roman mosaics, eat Greek food, and enter a catapult contest to win prizes.
- International Games Day Teen Challenge is at 3:00 p.m. on November 15.
- Ashe Wellness Circle meets at 11:30 on November 4 for a program featuring The Wellness Recovery Action Plan®, or WRAP®. This is an evidence based practice that is used world-wide by people who are dealing with mental health challenges as well as medical conditions. Diabetes, weight gain, pain management, addictions, smoking, and trauma are just some of the many life challenges that can benefit from WRAP. Come and find out about how WRAP can help you. WRAP is for Life! – It is for everyone, anytime, and for any of life's challenges.
- Learn, Connect, and Create computer classes are at 5:00 p.m. on Thursdays.
- NaNoWriMo WritEasy meets at 12:00 p.m. on Fridays.
- Bring balance to your life with Tai Chi classes, led by Sybil Harmon, at 10:00 a.m. on Thursdays.
- Brouhaha Book Club meets at 5:30 p.m. on November 24 at Boondocks.