The Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) will be spending the week of Oct. 18-24 celebrating its Charleston Friends of the Library group as part of the 15th annual celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week.
The Charleston Friends of the Library (FOL) were established more than 30 years ago, and since 2008, they have raised more than $1.2 million for CCPL. Nearly 35 people volunteer their time weekly to assist the group with processing book donations, which plays an integral part in their book sales. The FOL hosts several book sales, staffed by hundreds of eager volunteers, each year including “That BIG Book Sale,” which raises tens of thousands of dollars annually. Last fiscal year, the FOL provided $108,000 in contributions to the library. The library used those funds to host programs at several branches and to provide extra training for staff.
“The Charleston FOL continues to take seriously its mission to support the Charleston County Public Library. We are proud to contribute to the online programming that CCPL has created during the COVID-19 pandemic to meet the needs of the community. Our amazing volunteers continue to work hard to position the FOL for a return to normal operations, including holding That BIG Book Sale in May 2021,” said Friends president Susan Hoffius. “The partnership between the CCPL and CFOL is strong and we will continue to work together to give the residents of Charleston County the library they deserve.”
Other board members of the organization are Amanda Comen, Caleb Copper, Whitney Currin, Virginia Ellison, Claire Fund, Savannah Frierson, Chris Gilbert, Carin Jorgensen, Tony Joyner, Katie Norris, Brandon Reid, Karren Warren and Debora Yost.
“The Charleston Friends of the Library play an enormous role in the quality programming you see at your Charleston County Public Library branches. Their funding makes many of the events our patrons experience possible,” said CCPL Executive Director Angela Craig. “We are able to host puppet shows and plays for children, help teens learn to cook or paint, bring in authors and other presenters to teach or enlighten adults and families and so much more! The Friends help our community in a big way and supporting them means supporting us.”
Friends of Libraries Week activities will include a special virtual children’s storytime based on the theme of friendship on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 10 am on the CCPL Facebook page and social media giveaways throughout the week.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FOL can only take donations during library operating hours at the Main Library, located at 68 Calhoun Street in downtown Charleston.
The Charleston FOL also hosts the annual Black Ink Festival, which helps amplify the voices of African American writers. The festival will be hosted virtually on Jan. 16. Visit www.blackinkcharleston.org for more information.
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National Friends of Libraries Week is coordinated by United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information, visit www.ala.org/united.