Rochester Friends and Friends' Bookstore

This entry, written by Friends of the Rochester Public Library PastPresident, Shirley Edmonson, itemizes the work this group has done.  MALF congratulates this award-winning member of the Association for its strong support of libraries.



     The Friends had a busy year in 2010 with ongoing and new activities. Thanks to the generous donation of many thousands of books by the Rochester community, the Library was able to add or replace 10,593 items in their collection for an estimated value of $250,684. The Friends of Rochester Pubic Library sorted all of the contributed materials to permit the selection of these items for the current RPL collection.

     Not only were the Friends responsible for regular bookstore sales of other selected items throughout the year, but we staffed and managed five large auditorium book sales including Rochsterfest and Winterfest and multiple other special sales. Our bookstore profits check for 2009 given in January 2010 was $50,000. In addition, the Friends made another pledged cash contribution of $25,901 to pay for specific requested library projects, plus special requests of $4,000 during the year, for a total value of $330,581. Our 2010 pledge of $15,000 for a self-check machine is carrying over to 2011.

The Friends: --Volunteered for the Minnesota Library Association meeting in Rochester, where we won the MLA “Best Friends Project” Evy Nordley Award, including $1,500 for “The Threads of Our Community” quilt project. We hosted a celebration of the quilt unveiling for the artists and families. -- Helped with the RACE exhibit. --Participated at the August ARTIgras event at Mayo Park with a booth that gave us visibility. --Won a $1,500 prize from the Unique Management Services survey drawing. The money was donated toward purchase of a Mac Pro laptop computer and software to enable the Library staff to improve their online communications and video projects. --Donated money to buy six new tables for the children’s area and $1,565 to pay for the electrical work needed in replacing the computers in the Children’s area of the Library. --Donated $400.00 toward purchasing a Cricut Cutter Machine for the Children’s Department. --Bought new carts and tables for the book store and book sorting area. --Sold books online, which has enhanced our ability to pledge more money to the Library. --Backed the Library sponsored Rochester Reads event, Summer Children’s programs, Library programming, databases and software, materials and training with $25,901. --Provided volunteers and refreshments for the History Hullabaloo in January 2011, sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society to aid students with their research for History Day projects. --Increased our visibility through the Internet and social networking. In addition to the Library’s website, we have a bookstore blog and are on Facebook and Twitter.

Projects we are continuing are: Read With Me (books for the young child), mailing books to the military in various areas of the world, donating books to Channel One, recycling of printer cartridges, paying for a parking space for volunteers in the ramp next to the Library, and providing a Library staff appreciation breakfast. A big “Thank You” to our members, who donate so much time to the Library, as well as dues for membership. You make all of the above possible.

Shirley Edmonson, Friends Past President (2010)

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