GALION — The Friends of the Galion Public Library began with just a few citizens who wanted to dedicate themselves to the well-being of the community with the library as their main focus.
The group existed prior to the mid-1990s, but had lapsed into a period of inactivity.
The Friends enthusiastically embarked on their energetic mission of supplying the local library with the materials needed to provide successful and interesting programs for the benefit of the community of Galion both for the youth and adults alike.
In order to accomplish their vision, a wide variety of money-making projects were discussed, voted upon, and ultimately implemented. Some of those early projects included an annual Christmas bake sale and bazaar and sales of elegant note cards as well as homemade soups and subs.
A number of raffles with diverse prizes — from quilts to OSU baskets to gas cards — have been popular and fruitful.
In those earlier days, as projects proved to be vigorous and successfu,l it became apparent that more volunteers would be needed to accomplish the Friends’ challenging goals.
A membership drive was instituted through a variety of means: letters going out to the community, newspaper articles, word of mouth, etc. Within a short period of time they had a good-sized group of hard working and willing volunteers.
Today, the Friends continue the original founders’ committed mission.
Despite the fact that dues have remained at just $5 per year since the early 1990s, this organization has raised many thousands of dollars annually for use by the library.
For many years, the spring and fall bi-annual Friends book sales — currently under the direction of Pam Jourdan and Donna Cole — have been the biggest money producing project.
These huge sales specialize in all kinds of hard-cover books — cookbooks, biographies, history, novels and more — plus childrens’ story and non-fiction books, family videos, colorful decorating magazines, numerous paperbacks. There are even some vintage collectible books.
These popular sales run for three days in May and October.
During the summer — from May thru October — the Friends continue to participate by setting up a stand at the Farmers Market held at Heise Park every Thursday from 4 to 6:30 pm.
Under the direction of Penni Jerger, a wide assortment of books and videos have been offered to the public on a donation basis — Penni has also been available and eager to answer any questions regarding the Friends and its many projects. If a membership was purchased then and there, the new member received choice of two free books.
One of the most exciting projects for the Friends of the Library each year is the “12 Days of Christmas” raffle, where ticket holders can choose from at least 12 different prize drawings to be held in December.
This year’s offering of raffle prizes has already surmounted expectations. This project under the supervision of Denise Koffler with the help of many volunteers is still being finalized for this coming holiday season. More detailed information on the basket’s contents will be announced at a later date.
Look for displays at the library in late November.
Many members work behind the scenes helping the library distribute books throughout the community while many other energetic members are continually giving of their time on various other ongoing Friends of the Library projects. These dedicated members steadily continue to expend many volunteer hours so that they may achieve their one goal: to continue to supply and support the Galion Public Library in its endeavors to offer a variety of interesting and exciting programs for the community of Galion.