As we reflect back on 2016 there was distressing news and good news on one hand and very positive accomplishments on the other hand.
The Distressing news – You may have heard that another library is coming to our area which may potentially result in a decline of a substantial amount in Warren County funding. Since the news broke, we have strived to make you aware of the financial difficulties the library may face in 2018 if the county pulls their funding. The potential lack of funding is a very pressing problem, and notwithstanding that issue, we also need to enable the library to sustain services to their patrons and our community at large, on an ongoing basis. The Good news is that our Phillipsburg Free Public Library is not closing.
With that said, let’s reflect on some of the FRIENDS positive accomplishments throughout the year:
- Monthly Wednesday Programs on various subjects, such as:
- Information on the income tax assistance program workshop;
- Hosted a college admission process workshop;
- Hosted dynamics of mental health workshop;
- Coordinated and hosted a Sensory friendly movie series for individuals with autism and their families;
- Coordinated and hosted a Hand crafted books and other artful curiosities workshop;
- New sponsorship of a monthly art program called Everyday Art for Caring, which is an adult coloring club with other types of art medium training included;
- Sponsored the Summer Reading programs;
- Received Proclamations from the Mayor and Town Council for National FRIENDS of Library Week in October in recognition of the Friends commitment to the library and the community;;
- New – multi sessioned Holiday craft workshops;
- New – distributed more than 300 books at our first Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony;
- Record sales of $1,000+ at our Annual December Holiday fundraising book sale – baked goods and gift items donated by members of Friends and the community;
- Hosted our 2nd Annual Holiday Family Storytime event. Refreshments were sponsored by Shoprite of Greenwich and WaWa on Rte. 22.
Looking to 2017 and moving forward, the FRIENDS need to expand and refocus their efforts to not only sponsor programs within the library but to include fundraisers for the library, inside and outside.
Our role as FRIENDS is to advocate for, reach out to the community, raise much needed funds, sponsor programs/special events, and host used book sale fundraisers for our library. These tasks fall under our core mission which is Advocacy, Fundraising, Outreach and Public Relations. To do this successfully, we need to embrace the principle of The Power of Collective Impact – which is channeling the knowledge and resources of many people and multiple partners towards a specific problem. With your help the FRIENDS can ensure that the library has funds to successfully maintain their service to you and the community at large.
Our task will be to strategically create an infrastructure that, should county funds be pulled, will allow for the library to be self-sustaining. If the library continues to receive county funds beyond 2018, we will still be providing additional funding above the libraries budget, which is still part of our mission. With these thoughts in mind, we need your participation to join on committees and taskforces. Your board can handle many things but we cannot do it alone. There are many steps we can all take to help our Library thrive. The opportunities for involvement are as far-reaching and flexible as your skills and schedule allow. Let’s find them together
On behalf of the FRIENDS of PFPL’s Executive Board we want to thank our members, friends, partners and community for their continued support. We look forward to meeting new FRIENDS, facing new challenges and working with you to see how we can make a difference in the New Year.
Happy New Year, Gayle