Friday, June 17, 2016

• Friends of the Library

The Wildomar Friends of the Library, established in 2001, is a non profit group that is comprised of members of the community that are interested in helping the next generation of readers develop a love of books and reading. 

They meet monthly at the library, with about ten meetings a year. Holiday months don't usually have a meeting. The meetings last from one to two hours where programs for the kids are discussed.

The Friends of the Library get their funds from member dues, and used book sales (big events in April and October). They have their own corner room in the library where used books, along with DVDs, are for sale year round.

They then use the funds to pay for programs, performances (about every other week) and things that the library may need, but aren't in the budget. The example of a small refrigerator for the library staff break room was given.

Donating (gently used) Old Books
If you have books that you no longer want, and they are in good shape, consider donating them to the Friends of the Library.
The first picks go to the library, looking for any books that can help solidify their collection. 
After that, they are separated, cleaned and put up for sale.
Be advised that often times books, that may appear to be in good shape to the naked eye have to be put in the recycle bin (where they get turned into paper mulch), because they are discovered to have mold on them, other nasty spores or even worse.

If you've been storing books in the attic or garage, be forewarned, they may have been home to vermin over the years, and the health department will not allow books with mildew and/or other offensive substances on them to be distributed (like mousy poopies... Latin name being: Mus Excrementis). 

Those end up being "recycled".

A peek into the Friends of the Library used book room.

The group hasn't had much new blood infused into it in quite awhile and they are actively reaching out to interested members of the community to join them. 

They had many more members in the past, but father time has eroded their numbers.

There are currently twenty-one members. Six are board members, with three of those being up for election next year. The terms are four years. 

The costs are minimal, $10 a year for individuals ($5 for seniors), $25 for a family, $75 for a business and $100 for a life membership.

I asked what is expected of members

While there is no set guidelines or duties for members, and meeting attendance isn't a requirement, they would like members to attend at least a couple of meetings a year and have a willingness to volunteer.

This isn't like digging ditches on hot August afternoon we're talking about.

A friendship grows among the members and the time and money needed is rather minimal on the grand scale.

They'd love to hear new ideas from the community

It was jokingly put to me that they've been listening to each other's ideas for the last ten years, and have already heard them all.

If interested in joining the group, come into the library and ask for one of their flyers, fill it out, and turn it back into the person behind the counter.

A thought about volunteering
Many members of the community are not in a position to volunteer (I'm not speaking about those that are infirm). They may want to, but they're busy raising a family and fighting the rat race which takes more hours than are in a day. 
For those that do have the time, but maybe not the proclivity for such, consider this. As much as volunteering helps others, it also helps you. 
Without getting too touchy-feely about it, getting out of the house a few hours a month is good for the body and the soul. Not to mention the connections made with fellow volunteers.
I maintain that volunteering helps the person giving up his/her time every bit as much as it helps those in need of the program(s).

I was surprised to learn that there are no corporate sponsors of the group. Though some local merchants will donate items (usually for prizes to occasional contests they put on).
One of their racks of books for sale.
Some of the programs they provide for the youth of the community include performances. 

Adults are welcome too, but priority seating is for the kids so be prepared to stand in the back. 

They have things kids love, such as magicians, balloon artists and jugglers.

Buster Balloon, one of the favorite performers
paid for by the Wildomar Friends of the Library.
I saw the juggler last year and was dazzled by his ability to juggle and entertain a room full of kids at the same time. That sounded odd, but you knew what I meant.
Sample of the library's typical schedule.
To discover more programs and performances at the library, be sure to visit their website. 

If you're a facebook-terian, consider going over to the new Friends of the Library page and giving it a like.
Click to visit facebook page

Link to 2014 blog about the library

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I spent three days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library, and it's better than college. People should educate themselves - you can get a complete education for no money. At the end of 10 years, I had read every book in the library and I'd written a thousand stories. 
—Ray Bradbury, 1920-2012

Wildomar Rap reminds you: When being attacked by a gang of clowns, go for the juggler.

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