Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It's All About The Friends - Friends of the Library!

The Friends of the Stockton Public Library is one of the most unassuming treasures in all of Stockton. They are the only Friends group within the San Joaquin County that actually got so big and busy that they outgrew their little space inside the library and opened shop in the Parkwoods Shopping Center off of Hammer Lane. A shop jam packed full of books, games, puzzles, records, CD's and the like... and I do mean jam packed! Not only are shelves full, but even little book carts are filled with novels and biographies ready to be bought and read!

The Friends of the Library is a non-profit foundation that works tirelessly to promote literacy and raise money by selling gently used books to the community. The books they sell are donated, shelved, and resold to anxiously waiting readers that know how to make a dollar go a long way!

The money that the Friends raise directly benefits the Stockton Public Library branches by providing additional book buying money as well as sponsoring some of the programs used to bring our community together for the love of reading.

The Friends can be credited in part for some great library accomplishments such as:
  • Providing rent-able NOOKS to the community that are preloaded with a variety of titles
  • Supporting fun and educational reading programs for kids all year long
  • Bringing authors to town as part of the One Book, One San Joaquin program
  • Sponsoring the library's bi-monthly newsletter, Let's Connect

The thing is, the Stockton Friends Group (and all library Friends groups) are only successful when they have people shopping their store and becoming members with super duper low membership fees.

Sometimes it's easy to forget the smaller used bookstores in a town because new and shiny can be pretty enticing! But the truth is, both have their place. Sure! I sometimes need or want to buy a new book! For instance, I am headed to Barnes and Noble this week to purchase a new book to donate to my daughter's school library! 

However, I also need a few different titles for my sons reading library (we have read Are You My Mother more times than I care to count) and for that I will be headed to the Friends Bookstore! I can drop off some books as donations and pick up a few more. A gently used book is perfect for him and for me -- and I love the idea that by making my purchase at the Friends of the Bookstore I am directly helping to support our Stockton Public Libraries!

Oh, and don't worry, I am using my local library, too! I have downloaded several audio books in the last couple months to turn beach drives into family reading time! You do know you can download audiobooks (and eBooks) to your smart phones, right? BEST.THING.EVER!

You can help the Friends, too! Come down to the store and browse their large selection of books! Paperbacks, romances, cookbooks, best sellers, travel companions (books, not people), mysteries - they have it all!  

You can also help the friends by becoming a member.  ANY donation amount is welcome, however, if you give at least $25 annually, you will also get 10% off all your purchases! I say to that..."AWE-SOME!"

And if you don't live in Stockton, don't you worry! These Library Friends groups are all over the county! Linden, Mountain House, Tracy, Ripon, Escalon, Manteca, Mountain House -- all of these cities have libraries and Friends groups that run their non-profits right out of the local library! Stop by the library and browse their sale racks or ask how you can be a member to volunteer!

Here's some fun photos of the Friends of the Stockton Public Library to entice you to come visit!  Be sure to tell them "mom" sent you!

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