The Best Kind of Friend

“If the guys at the firehouse don’t know your name, you’re not doing your job properly.” Libraries rely on Friends groups, foundations, and other volunteer and fundraising arms to generate enough money to pay for public programs and to help raise awareness about library services and their value to the community. The Library Effect interviewed James Fox, president of the Friends of the Somerville Public Library in Somerville, MA to find out about his brand of entrepreneurial volunteerism.

Interview by Shannon K. McDonough (VIDEO)

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Library as Community Living Room

Libraries today offer something for everyone. Our little library/living room, is in the center of our town; the heart, the hearth. We entered that living room to enjoy the Story Time, but we stayed to become part of the community. We began attending events frequently – some for children, like a puppet show or an arts and crafts afternoon, some for adults – a multicultural night, a poetry workshop. It was a place that fostered a love of books in children, but was also a social setting for adults, offering a “Mac & Cheese Bake-Off” inside, or an Astronomy Night outside under the stars.

By Colleen A. Madden