Monday, October 19, 2015

National Friends of the Library Week-Oct 18-24

October 18-24th is National Friends of the Library Week and the staff of the library would like to say a big “Thank You!” to everyone who is a member of the Winston County Friends of the Library for all their support. A special thank you to JoAnn Brandt, President; Sylvia Clark, Vice President; Rhonda Porter, Treasurer; and Tracy McCully, Book Sale Director.

In 1983 Doris Suber, Librarian, asked JoAnn Brandt if she would be a volunteer in Jackson, MS at a legislative budgeting meeting for the fiscal year coming up. Winston County’s state representative, Bruce Williamson, also attended. He was a good and vocal voice for the local and state libraries. While attending this meeting and talking with others there, the idea came to JoAnn, of the need for a Friends group at our library.

In 1984 Joann Brandt, along with volunteers, went to work to bring this idea to fruition. They sent out over 2,000 letters to local citizens in Winston County, stating the need for a Friends group and asking them to become members. Response from the public was terrific. The group established a set of by-laws taken from the Attala County Library Friends by-laws.


Meetings were held on a monthly basis at first. Then on a quarterly basis and then on a semi-annual basis. Because of people having other obligations and going to work, the officers of the Friends group continued to meet and plan all projects.

They then set out to make money from projects and yearly dues so as to help meet the needs of the library that their budget could not cover.

There have been only four presidents throughout the years. JoAnn Brandt, June Woodruff, Joyce Hudson and Sylvia Clark. JoAnn and Sylvia have held office of some type all of these years.

Fundraising projects performed to raise money for the Winston County Library since 1984 include the annual membership drive each January, twice-yearly used book sales, bake sales, garden tours, various raffles, sold magnetic patriotic ribbons to go on car bumpers to honor our military after 9/11, collected Super Shopper Stamps from Vowell’s Grocery Store, and a day-lily bulb sale
Listed as follows are items purchased by Friends for the Winston County Library:
  1. Large-print books
  2. Computer software
  3. Vacuum cleaner
  4. Commercial coffee pot
  5. Paid for asbestos survey
40% matching funds grant for a Capital Improvement Grant from the state legislature.

This project included removal of old ceiling and flooring tile which contained asbestos and installing new flooring and ceiling; making restrooms handicap accessible; repairing leak in east wall; installing new lighting; installing new commercial carpet; painting the interior; the purchase of two card catalogs; the purchase of two revolving wooden paperback display racks; the purchase of one fax equipment stand; one lectern with PA system; the purchase of one micro-computer desk.
Help with Summer Library Programs – paying for programs when needed, such as Snakeman, Wild West Show, etc.

Trees of Christmas (local civic clubs provide decorate trees through the library during December.)
Easter-egg hunt for children

Opened and ran Read With Me Boutique for the sale of small books, pencils, paper, note cards, etc. This was located in the library and was open 2 afternoons a week.

Purchased 2 book desensitizers

Computer memory upgrade
One computer printer

CD Rom software for computer system

New reference and non-fiction books, VHS videos and books-on-cassette for adult

And children’s collections.

Helped with the 40% funding match for the 2001 LSTA Grant from the Mississippi

Library Association and the Mississippi Legislature, which added a 2,000 square foot addition to the library (fiction reading room and Louis Taunton Genealogy Room)

Held an open house in 2003 for the public to tour new addition

Purchased 2 new stainless steel outdoor book drops

Purchased custom-made circulation desk (2002-2003)

New tile for the lobby and around the circulation desk (2002-2003)

New carpet for the meeting room (2004)

Sold note cards drawn in pen and ink by Davis L. Fair, Jr. showing scenes of Louisville at the turn of the century and old buildings in Louisville, including the library.

Purchased new heavy-duty book-ends for the bookshelves

Purchased heavy-duty keyboard trays for the public-access computers

Purchased two Xerox copy machines for the library/public to use. The current copier is a color copier.


Purchased fatigue mats for the staff, located behind the circulation desk and in front of the copy machine

Purchased four comfortable reading chairs and a coffee table for the fiction reading room

Provided matching funds to bring the Puppet Arts Theatre group from Jackson, MS to perform at a local school during Black History Month

Sponsored cartoonist Marshall Ramsey of the Clarion Ledger for an art showing

Sponsored Mississippi author Alan Huffman and Mississippi musician Guelol Kumba during National Library Week

Co-sponsored with the Mississippi Library Commission and ‘Unburied Treasure Program’ at the library

Sponsored a ‘Picture With Santa’ fundraiser at the library for children

Purchased new flat-screen television for the meeting room and paid for the first year’s public performance license

Provided matching funds ($350.00) for the Libri Book Grant three times for junior non-fiction books

Purchased a refrigerator for the library

Purchased two colorful children’s computer tables with four colorful children’s chairs for the junior reading room. These were for the Early Learning Station computers.

Purchased a new lockable plasma/LCD cabinet for the meeting room

Supplied the matching grant funds for the creation of the Splash Teen Room

Purchased a new round metal CD display rack and furniture for the Splash Teen Room

Hosted a lovely tea and taste-testing for Mississippi Magazine editor Patti Roper

Rented a blow-up jumping tent for children at Stew Stomp for the library booth

Purchased melamine dishes and flatware for use at Appreciation Luncheon in April during National Library Week


Purchased DVD/CD player for meeting room

Purchased 3 swinging outdoor advertising signs for library programming PR

Purchased a portable PR system

President JoAnn Brandt says “Each April, the Friends group sponsors an Appreciation Luncheon in the library meeting room, during National Library Week, for the city and county officials, local garden clubs, Library trustees, local media and others who significantly contribute to the library throughout the year. Our annual membership drive is held each year in January, and, to date, has been very successful. This is the largest part of the fundraising throughout the year. We do have some private contributions. We are proud that, with the funds we raise each year for the library, we are able to help serve the citizens of Winston County through their local public library.”

“I don’t know what we would do without the Friends of the Library,” says librarian Beth Edwards. “They are so dedicated and supportive of the library, they really are incredible.”