Friday, October 14, 2011

Ten who make a difference

The Santa Fe New Mexican gives out a very special award annually. It is the “Ten who make a difference” award for volunteers and non-profits in our community who truly make a positive difference. It was easy for me to make a nomination. I nominated the Friends of the Library book sorters and book store volunteers. They are our cheerleaders, educational outreach and fund raisers.

The Friends of the Library support the Library by selling donated books in the two Library bookstores and holding book sales at least twice a year at the three branch libraries. All of the “staff” who haul and sort books, categorize books and get them ready for the shelves and conduct the sales are volunteers. The recruiting, training and scheduling of volunteers is done by volunteers!

Many individuals have worked to set up this project and maintain it. In FY2010-11, 138 volunteers donated 8,496 hours to the project. Their volunteering goes on year round to sort and get books ready for sale. Some of the volunteers work close to 40 hours a week to get the job done.

Funds from the sale of the used books are donated to the Library to purchase new books which the Library would not have had funds for. The bookstores and sales annually raise approximately $50,000 for the Library. They sell thousands of books every year to reach their goal.

Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library was founded in 1974 to help provide books and programs that weren't covered by funding from the city. Group members raise money through the organization's membership dues and charitable contributions as well as through the book stores at Main and the Southside Branch and their regularly-scheduled weekend book sales.

"Every library I've ever been in has had tremendous and dynamic Friends with a capital 'F' organization, and Santa Fe is no different," Patricia Hodapp, Director of Libraries said. Hodapp explained that the city's budget for libraries is "a budget that provides for all the main basic needs of the library, and the additional funding needed is where the Friends come in."

"It's just a tremendous boost for the library to be able to add those extra books,” Hodapp said.

Want to be a part of this dynamic group? Just call 955-2839 or email and volunteer!

by PCH @Main

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