“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” – Frederick Douglass
Reading, and helping others having access to it, is exactly what the main mission is of the Fayette County Public Library’s Friends of the Library group.
And it’s a mission, without the assistance of an special endowment created roughly over a decade ago, which would be much more difficult for the group.
The Friends of the Library, created in 1991, is known throughout the community for its bi-annual book sales at the county’s public library, which draw hundreds to downtown Connersville to snag bundles of books, magazines, tapes, CD’s – and even vinyl records – at bargain basement prices, with those proceeds helping to benefit the group and the library.
But there’s more to the group than simply book sales; rather, it’s main goal is to maintain an association of local people who are interested in the library, help focus the public’s attention on the very library their tax dollars help fund, to help the community learn how to use the many – and often free – resources the library offers, whether it be books, educational resources or the like; to help the library grow in what it offers to the Fayette County and Connersville communities, and finally, to help keep the library and the gift of reading alive in the community.
A lofty mission, for certain, and one which would be much harder to attain if not for the generosity and passion for the library that members of the group, and library staff itself, had in 2004.
That’s when the Friends of the Library Endowment was created at the Fayette County Foundation by Library Director Connie Lake and then-Friends President Renee Zumkeller, then-Vice President Melvin Dice and then-Secretary Beth Ann Orth.
The quartet, with a seed of $5,000 – consisting of donations and parts of the proceeds…