2012 Annual Meeting

At the 2012 Annual Meeting, the FRIENDS celebrated 50 years of supporting the Heights Library. President Sharon Richardson's report to the Community is printed below. To read more about the  Annual Meeting, check out the article in the Heights Observer and the Picture Gallery.

President’s Report to the Community,
Delivered at the 2012 Annual Meeting


So much had happened since the FRIENDS’ revival in late 2009  that we decided 2011-12 would be a year of quiet reappraisal, a time to think about what had worked and what hadn't, and to focus on the new bookshop.  Well, we did do a lot of reappraising, but hopes for a quiet year flew out the window early on!  A large spring book sale, summer changes in the bookshop, and this fiftieth-anniversary celebration have kept us running -- all in addition to a continuous cycle of FRIENDS’ projects for the library and community.  2011-12 is historic for us as well since it marks a half-century of our existence!  We are thrilled to celebrate with you today and to share current news. 


Our major aim has long been funding library programs, and this year we gave over $17,000 to the library for programs and special projects.  That includes the new Little Free Libraries that you may have seen in the community, offering books to anyone to take or exchange.  Every year we set aside money for tax-levy campaigns, and $10,000 is kept in reserve for a future library foundation.  We gave $2,500 to three local women for library-school scholarships. These were the year’s major expenditures. 
To pay for them, book sales and member-ships are our traditional sources of funds. Sales come from our new bookshop, Harvey & FRIENDS, and from “impulse shopping” carts downstairs (stocked by Ann Douglas and Anne Wilson in a labor of love).  We had had no fundraiser or large book sale in 2011, were facing a basement overflowing with donations, and realized we would need more money. Therefore, hundreds of hours in spring were consumed with new Plan B, preparations for a downstairs May sale.  We attracted many new volunteers, some who have stayed on to help in the bookshop, and we made over $6,500.  Joni London, who had worked hard to set up the bookshop space, welcomed new managers, Susan Goldfarb & Taresa White. They have added First Friday sales and art exhibits from city residents.  Nearby is the new Harvey Pekar statue and drawing desk.  You can help the shop succeed by volunteering and by buying books, mugs, cookbooks, and new tote bags.   


Money also comes from memberships, which are increasing again.  Suneeti Sapatnekar has worked tirelessly with online records and membership correspondence. 

In the basement John Jarvey organizes and inspires a loyal band of book sorters. We have revived the old Volunteers Committee, but this time focusing on recruiting new sources.  The newsletter and timely messages can be sent online by increasingly technically savvy trustees.     
FRIENDS’ programs often reach into the Heights community.  Aside from taking part in the African-American Read-In, Spelling Bee, Film Festival, New Resident Welcome, and Home & Garden Tour, we have benefited from fundraisers and gifts by youth groups and by generous neighbors, Dobama Theater, Whole Foods, the Wine Spot, Nighttown, and online Patch.    
I am honored to have served as a FRIENDS trustee and President again after so many years.  I cannot begin to express my gratitude to fellow officers, Kirsten, Sherri, and Ann, and to our colleagues on the board.  Thanks from all of us to the 2012 volunteers.  We appreciate the support and many kindnesses of Nancy Levin and the entire library staff, especially those in Circulation, Adult Services, and the administrative offices.
Reading the old minutes and writing a “history” of the FRIENDS for today’s celebration has been an inspiring experience for me.  The entire text is posted online for everyone to enjoy. 
Join us in celebrating past FRIENDships and help make our future bright, too: stay active as a Heights FRIEND.

Sharon Richardson 
(outgoing President, FRIENDS of Heights Libraries)


FRIENDS are glad to support an award winning library system.
Visit http://www.heightslibrary.org/ for mind opening programming and fun!

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