Public library vital to a community

Friends of Lincoln Library column
By: Jeri Chase Ferris Special to The News Messenger
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Thanks to you, the supporters of the Lincoln library, our ?Night for the Library? fundraiser dinner on March 3 was a huge success, raising more than $7200! Thank you for attending, for enjoying a great evening and for the exciting bidding on some spectacular auction items. If you were not able to attend this year, please be looking forward to next year. We?ll see you there! We know a public library is vital to the health of a community. Lincoln, with its more than 40,000 residents, is fortunate to have the extraordinary Twelve Bridges Library and FOLL (Friends of the Lincoln Public Library) helps it thrive. So what do the Friends actually do? Where does your membership, donation and fundraising money go? Here are just two of the many ways the Friends help keep our library alive. There?ll be more examples in upcoming columns. The Friends support library programs such as Mother Goose on the Loose, Read for the Record, Read Across America, Summer Reading and the Homework Center. The Friends help purchase books, CDs and DVDs. In fact, when the city?s library funding ran out recently, the Friends gave $3,000 to the library for book purchases. Speaking of purchasing books, people have asked who chooses the books for the library shelves? How? Can a patron request a book? Renae Mahaffey, library coordinator, has the answers. Yes, she says, a patron can request a book, and it will (probably) be added to the list. The library staff studies reviews in The Library Journal, Publishers? Weekly and other professional journals, and compiles a list of what should be on our shelves. From their, and your, recommendations, Renae orders 100 to 150 new books each month. The library also subscribes to 80 magazines and newspapers. For these purchases, there is no state help. One hundred percent of the funding is from the city of Lincoln, Friends and donations of cash, books and subscriptions. Remember Thomas Jefferson?s famous statement after he had to sell his personal library? ?I cannot live without books!? And someone said, ?If you do not read, you are no better off than the person who can not read.? (Who said that?) On the calendar Family Movie Night begins again this Saturday. (This is another program funded by the Friends.) Our first movie presentation is the animated, PG-rated ?Puss and Boots.? Show time is 6 p.m. in the Willow Room, Twelve Bridges Library. Doors open at 5:30 and admission is free but there are only 100 seats. Children must be accompanied by an adult and popcorn, water and sodas will be available for a very nominal cost. The Friends purchased four copies of the book ?Puss and Boots,? plus a DVD so you and your children can enjoy the story again and again. Our next Friends? Board meeting is Tuesday, June 12, at 2 p.m. in the Fir Room. Please come with your thoughts, questions and answers. We look forward to seeing you. Our next book sale will be Saturday, July 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Library Rotunda and the Willow Room. You are needed! You are needed, not only as a member of the Friends, which we hope you are, but as a physical body to physically help with events such as Movie Night (sell popcorn, count attendance, move furniture) and the book sale and Mother Goose on the Loose and the Homework Center and the summer reading program and ? well, you get the idea. We need you, we really need you. Please call 434-2404 ASAP. The message machine is waiting. This column is part of a Friends of the Lincoln Library series. Have a question? Contact the Friends at 434-2404, at or e-mail Author Jeri Chase Ferris is a Friends of the Lincoln Library member. This column may or may not necessarily express the opinions of The Lincoln News Messenger.