The annual meeting of the Friends of Ilsley Library will be held on Wednesday, May 5, at 6:30 p.m., in the library meeting room. This will precede a talk at 7 p.m. by Susan Cooke-Kittredge about her father, Alistair Cooke. This will be the last of the First Wednesday talks for this series. This series sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council is made possible in Middlebury through a grant from the Friends of Ilsley Library.
The Friends have supported library programs with over $25,000 in grants this year. This included appropriating $7,900 for children and adult programs, $11,400 for library equipment and furnishing, $2,000 for the Imagination Library, and $350 for the Friends' Assistance Program. In addition, $700 was provided for library landscaping and funds were provided for a reception for volunteers and staff. The First Wednesday lecture series costs $2,500.
The money to do all this comes from a variety of sources. Monthly used book sales provide a steady income thanks to the hard work of Louise Mosher and Don Groll. These are held the first Saturday of each month. In addition, books may be purchased at any time in The Last Word, a small room off the main lobby. Donations of good books are always welcome and may be left at the front desk. Book bags are also available for purchase. A few years ago, the Friends of the library received a bequest. These funds and the interest and earnings they generate help to support the work. In addition, the Friends are the recipients of annual and occasional gifts from generous patrons.
The Friends of the library is seeking to expand its membership base, which currently stands at about 200. "And what a bargain it is," according to board member Ray Hudson. "Memberships start at $1 and the reward is to have joined other library patrons in helping to make this great library even greater."
People who served on the board during this past year were Ann Hennessey, Barbara Blodgett, Lesley Bienvenue, Ray Hudson, Louise Mosher, Lorrie Muller, Sandra Ruvera, and Cynthia Watters. Peg Martin has been the representative from the library board of trustees.