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New ‘Friends’ eager to aid local library efforts

A group of dedicated book lovers and library patrons met Thursdayafternoon to discuss how they can help make the Lincoln CountyPublic Library better.

     The meeting was thefirst of the newly formed organization, Friends of the Library.Group organizer and president Pam Womack promised big things to theapproximately 22 members in attendance.

    “If I gave you my visions statement you would all run out of herebecause it’s huge,” Womack said.

    The formation of the group has already brought one visible changeto the local library branch.

    A table and a bookcase of clearance books sit in the library foyerwith books at rock-bottom prices: 25 cents for paperback and 50cents for hardback. Proceeds go to the Friends of the Library andits efforts to aid the library.

    Book lovers with an eye for a bargain better move in soon, though.Womack said the clearance books with their prices will only beavailable through the end of February.

    More Friends-hosted book sales are in the future, though, pendingfurther discussion by the group.

    Womack is eager for that group input.

    “We definitely need you,” Womack told group members. “Think outsidethe box.”

    Womack prepared the group for two big events Friends will host orparticipate in this year: National Library Week, April 8-14, andthe library’s summer reading program.

    The summer reading program will put Friends in a supporting role towhat the library already does, but the National Library Weekprogram is completely up to the Friends.

    Womack isn’t sure yet what format book sales will take throughoutthe year, but she knows the group will host a “huge” sale duringthe National Library Week program. There will also be a silentauction during that week and Womack said the library has agreed todonate its old card catalog filing units to be sold during thesilent auction.

    That idea is already generating some interest.

    “I have heard so much from people excited about the card catalogsbeing sold,” Womack said.

    The Friends will work closely with the library to put the funds itraises to use in ways the library needs.

    Library Director Henry Ledet is preparing a wish list of items thelibrary needs. The Friends will use that list as it purchasessupplies to donate to the library.

    Like Womack, Ledet is not hesitating to dream big with his wishlist.

    “It will include everything from a new microfilm reader to newbooks,” Ledet said. “Also lots of things for the kids.”

    Ledet said he has been trying to get a Friends of the Library groupstarted in Lincoln County for years without success, but he isexcited to finally see such a group take root.

    “We’ve always lacked the spark that seems to have caught firehere,” Ledet said.