Idyllwild Library Branch Manager and Librarian Shannon Houlihan Ng and staff drafted a proclamation declaring Sunday, Nov. 26, through Saturday, Dec. 2, Friends of Libraries Appreciation Week in Idyllwild.
The proclamation, with three pages outlining the many functions and gifts of the Friends of the Idyllwild Library, acknowledges the critical roles the Friends play in programming, building maintenance and improvements, fundraising, and collection and services.
“Without the advocacy of the Friends there would be no library,” said Ng. In many conversations with then Riverside County 3rd District Supervisor Jeff Stone and site visits to other libraries, the Friends helped determine what the new library would look like, what it would contain and what services it would provide. “They made this library a critical agenda item for the supervisor,” said Ng.
“I have no budget for programming per se,” said Ng. “The Friends have made the breadth of programming that we now have available. They understand the critical importance of well-funded libraries and advocate to ensure that our library gets the resources it needs to provide a wide variety of services to all ages, including access to print and electronic materials, along with expert assistance in research, readers’ advisory and children’s services.”
Highlights of programming since Oct. 1, 2016, include providing storytime volunteer readers, planning and craft supplies, including special guests and performers; the fourth-annual Children’s Film Festival; support for Pacific Crest Trail hikers via the bookstore with free books and maps; a solar eclipse series, including a solar eclipse party with a solar telescope and livestream of the Great American Eclipse as it passed over the United States; and a well-attended bi-monthly speaker series.
With regard to the Idyllwild Library building, the Friends maintain the eight lilac bushes donated by Gary Parton. They also have assisted with the purchase of a much- used 3D printer and the accompanying programming to help introduce 3D printing to the wider community.
To fundraise, the Friends conduct ongoing book sales in the Friends Bookstore in the library, monthly silent auctions featuring high-quality books donated to the Friends, and Memorial and Labor Day book sales.
They also help fund February’s weeklong STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) workshops and Summer Reading program, “Reading by Design.”
“They’re growing stronger with new leadership and focus,” said Ng. “They had a retreat in early August to brainstorm how to be more effective. They’re looking for new members to help them expand how they can better serve the library and the community, and provide more for local children.”
For more about the Friends, visit www.friendsofidyllwildlibrary.com.