Next week brings up another special week on our yearly library celebrations calendar. October 17-23, 2021 is National Friends of the Library Week which is celebrated throughout the country. The American Library Association’s Friends arm, known as United for Libraries, is proud to present the 16th annual Friends of the Library Week. This year’s theme “Friend Your Library,” encourages libraries of all types who have friends’ group to support them, celebrate them and their work throughout the week. It is also a great time for the Friends Groups to do some publicity for themselves and the services they provide to the library and the community.
Four of our six Adams County Library System branches have an active Friends Group. Each branch’s group is a little different on how they operate, the kind of fundraising adventures they take on, and how they support the community during community events. Each group meets monthly (some virtually and some in-person at this time) and are always welcoming of new community members who want to get involved in supporting the Friends Group and the Library. The four library branches that have an active friends’ group are:
• The Friends of the Adams County Library System is based out of the Gettysburg Branch of the Adams County Library System. They meet monthly on the second Tuesday of the month at 2pm. This groups mission is to raise funds for the most urgent needs of the Adams County Library System and do so by having a used bookstore on the first floor of the Gettysburg Library, holding our largest County-Wide fundraiser, the Summer Book Sale in July, and having smaller sales throughout the year. They even sell on Amazon now! All dollars raised are returned to the Adams County Library System for our most urgent needs. We couldn’t do what we do without their support!
• The Friends of the Littlestown Library was the second friends’ group in Adams County. This group of dedicated and hard-working individuals also hold fundraisers to support the most urgent needs of the Littlestown Library, while also spreading the good name of the library throughout town during community events. You might have heard about their ever popular twice a year soup sale which just concluded for the fall. This year, the Friends of Littlestown Library also hosted a murder mystery dinner night which was well attended and raised a lot of money. In the community you might see them setting up their booth at the Touch a Truck event or the Annual Gold Ole Days celebration. The Friends of the Littlestown Library meet on the first Wednesday of each month at 7pm. Wherever there Is fun and a chance to support the library and its mission, the Friends of the Littlestown Library are there!
• The Friends of the New Oxford Area Library are a small but mighty group that supports our New Oxford Branch. This group was reformed and rejuvenated about five years ago and have really hit the ground running. They support fundraisers at Sweet Frog Ice Cream and Perkins to raise funds for the Summer Quest program at their branch. They also recently participated in the New Oxford Antique Fair and had the great idea to bring a food truck to the Friends of the Adams County Library System’s big booksale in July. All who ate there this summer said it was a great addition to the sale. The Friends of the New Oxford Area Library meet on the third Wednesday of each month at 6pm.
• The Friends of the Jean Barnett Trone Memorial Library in East Berlin is our newest Friends group in Adams County. They formed at the beginning of this year in the middle of a pandemic and have done a great job getting organized while not being able to meet in person for most of that time. Their goal is to not only raise funds to help with the most urgent needs of operating the second largest and busiest branch in the system, they also intend to participate in community events and help library staff with programming for the library in the near future. The Trone Memorial Library Friends have turned a portion of the lower level of the library building into a bookstore which should open again real soon. Keep an eye out on their Facebook page as well as the library’s Facebook page for more information when the bookstore can reopen to the public. The Friends of the Jean Barnett Trone Memorial Library meet virtually at this time on the third Monday evening of each month at 6pm.
Although not a traditional library Friends group, the Harbaugh-Thomas Foundation in Biglerville is such a friend of the Adams County Library System. Did you know that the Harbaugh-Thomas Foundation pays for the upkeep and any needed repairs to the Harbaugh-Thomas Library building and grounds so the library can run a successful library in a beautiful and well maintained space. Without the friendliness of the Harbaugh-Thomas Foundation with their support of the Harbaugh-Thomas Library building and the Adams County Library System, that area of the county wouldn’t have the great facility it does with access to 21st century library services. By the way… Their teen center is back open in the Harbaugh-Thomas Library lower level and we had over 170 teens visit in September. This continues to be a wonderful asset to the Upper Adams community and we couldn’t be happier that it is back open again to the public.
No matter what library branch you go to around the county, the work of either our four Friends of the Library groups or our partnership with the Harbaugh-Thomas Foundation contribute essential funding, community outreach, and programming opportunities that simply wouldn’t be possible if they were to go away. We thank all of these volunteer led and ran organizations around Adams County for supporting the Adams County Library System and for helping us to deliver a great library program in all areas of the county. Please support their work if you can and consider becoming a member to give back to your Adams County Library System. More information can be found on our website at https://www.adamslibrary.org/support-library/friends-library. We will see you at the library this Fall!
Brandt A. Ensor, Assistant Director, Adams County Library System.