Friends of Taylor County Library group to be discussed

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By Calen McKinney


Taylor County Public Library is looking for a few good friends.

Community members will meet tomorrow to discuss the possibility of forming a Taylor County Friends of the Library group.

The meeting, which is open to anyone, will be tomorrow at 5 p.m. at the library.

Director Julia Turpin said "Friends" groups are made up of people who share information about the library and encourage others to use it.

"And serve as a helping hand to the library," she said.

Turpin said a Friends group at the library attempted to organize a few years ago, but steps were never taken to formally create the group.

The new group, she said, will have bylaws, a mission statement and officers and complete paperwork for the state and to become a nonprofit organization.

Turpin said the idea to create an official friends group came about after several patrons asked about participating. She said the library has seen many new patrons since opening in its new location last year.

The meeting tomorrow, Turpin said, is to share information about Friends groups, gauge the interest in it and determine what those attending would like the group to do.

She said friends groups can raise money for an organization and sponsor programs and activities, such as summer reading events and author readings at the library. The library's ability to raise money is limited, she said, so Friends groups are often created to help with that.

Taylor County's public library operates with revenue collected from a library tax that those who own property in Taylor County pay. The library's 2013-2014 budget totals $795,100.

After the group is officially created, she said, a library employee will serve alongside its officers as a non-voting liaison.

"But it's really up to the members of the community to take the reigns."

Before coming to Taylor County, Turpin worked at the Henry County Library. She said a friends group there was successful and helped raise money and host library events.

Turpin said she would like to see a core group of active members take the friends group and run with it.

"To kind of get the ball rolling," she said.

Turpin said a lot of community members have come to the library and asked what they can do to help. Being a part of the Friends group, she said, is the perfect way to do that. And those who can't contribute to the group financially can still be a member and help at library events.

"Certainly the advocacy of it is just as important," she said.

Turpin said she would like to see the group have short- and long-term goals for the library. She would also like the group to help the library purchase some items on its wish list and sponsor a larger program each year for patrons.

"I think there's a lot of people really interested in it," she said.

For more information about the meeting, or being involved with the friends group, call 465-2562 or www.taylorcountypubliclibrary.org.


Winter Reading Program

The library will host its first winter reading program soon, beginning Jan. 20 and ending Jan. 31.

Turpin said residents often develop cabin fever during the winter months and reading a book is a great remedy.

"If you're going to be cold, you might as well be cold with a book," she said.

Those wanting to participate in the program could win prizes, she said. There will be prizes given to adults, teenagers and children.

Turpin said the winter reading program will lead into the library's observance of February as Love Your Library month.