2017 was another great year for Columbus Metropolitan Library and Friends of the Library (FOL) is proud to play an important role in the library’s success. FOL projects provided funding totaling $141,200 in 2017, helping the library move closer to its vision of being “a thriving community where wisdom prevails.”
Over the past year, FOL built on and expanded many of the programs and services it relaunched in 2016, from an enhanced Library Store to even more delicious food offerings in several library branches to bigger, more frequent, Big Book Sales. Throughout the year, FOL maintained its support for critical library programs that support learning and literacy in Central Ohio.
Our community values our library and its vital role in our lives. Friends should be proud that their FOL membership supports this treasured community resource, extending its reach and impact.
FOL SERVES LIBRARY CUSTOMERS WHILE RAISING FUNDS FOR LIBRARY PROGRAMS
The Library Store
FOL has continued to expand and refine the selection of merchandise appealing to bookworms and library lovers of all ages. Posters, apparel and a wide range of unique handmade items as well as a selection of gently used books are available to purchase in The Library Store at Main Library. Strong sales from the library community, including our Friends and Fans, made for a successful 2017. Friends receive a discount on all purchases at The Library Store.
Big Book Sale expanded
Due to popular demand, the Big Book Sale was held twice in 2017 in both the fall and spring. Sales and attendance continued to climb, with a total of more than 18,000 items sold, including used books for children and teens, fiction, cookbooks, biographies, specialty books, DVDs and library merchandise. Proceeds from the sale enable FOL to support library programs and special initiatives. Friends receive early admission to the Big Book Sale. FOL plans to again hold two sales in 2018, with the first sale planned for April 2018. Be on the lookout for specific dates and times to be announced soon!
Library Cafes: Annie Maude’s Café and Carnegie’s Café
FOL was thrilled to welcome Annie Maude’s Café to the newly opened Northside Branch in June 2017. The Café is an expansion of Freedom a la Cart’s mission-driven business that brings hope to survivors of human trafficking so they can build a new life of freedom and self-sufficiency. The library café menu offers some Freedom a la Cart favorites while introducing new cookies, sweet treats, and seasonal pastries. The café also offers library customers fresh grab-and-go snacks and espresso drinks. Carnegie’s Café continues to offer Main Library customers an expanded menu of coffee, beverages, sandwiches and other light snacks, with plenty of welcoming seating inside and out to enjoy the food—and the view. Friends enjoy a 15% discount at the café.
FOL SPONSORS SPECIAL COMMUNITY EVENTS
The Carnegie Gallery hosted seven exhibits featuring seven different non-profit partners, including its oldest, ROY G BIV and its newest, Columbus Open Studio & Stage. The FOL- sponsored gallery showcases the best work of both emerging and established artists in Ohio. Reviews of exhibits were found in The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus Alive and City Scene Magazine. FOL funds support Carnegie Gallery exhibitions throughout the year and provide refreshments at an opening reception for each show, which combined welcomed nearly 700 people. Friends are always invited! FOL receives a commission from artwork sold in the Gallery.
PBJ & Jazz Concerts with the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus
In its eighth year, PBJ & Jazz at the Topiary Park proved again to be a popular summer concert series, introducing young children and their families to jazz and American music in a casual, interactive, family-friendly setting. More than 1,600 people enjoyed the four free concerts in Topiary Park, held in June, July, August and September. Many attendees also participated in the “bookend” events that complemented the concerts, ranging from the Library’s ever-popular family story time to the Columbus Museum of Art “Museum on the Move!” community-outreach and art-making activity program. FOL funds help support the concert series.
FOL SUPPORTS YOUNG MINDS LIBRARY PROGRAMMING
Summer Reading Club
Summer Reading Club 2017 introduced an online experience allowing customers to sign up and track their progress from home or from a mobile device. Overall, participation matched 2016 with nearly 60,000 participants, including students at over 450 schools. Adult sign-ups increased by 18%, and FOL provided a free book to each adult who completed the Summer Reading Program. FOL provided $10,000 in sponsorship to support SRC in 2017.
Teen Read Week
FOL once again sponsored Teen Read Week, welcoming more than 1,000 teens to hear Maggie Stiefvater, a New York Times bestselling young adult author. Stiefvater grabbed and held the attention of her young audiences and fielded questions from both readers and aspiring young writers. She shared stories of difficulty from her own life and encouraged teens to hear every “no” as a “not yet,” rather than a final answer. She also played her bagpipes — an instrument many of the students had never heard.
Teen Power Lunches
FOL funded the Teen Power Lunch program which pairs teens with CML staff and community member mentors to discuss topics like leadership styles, interviewing skills, conflict resolution, and learning from failure. The Teen Power Lunch program expanded to 23 branches in 2017, with nearly 375 teens ages 12-17 participating. Power Lunches provide an avenue to deepen relationships between staff and teens, helping teens develop life skills and discover options for their future.
FOL provides each branch with discretionary “spending money,” used to enhance library programs, build community outreach, and fund special projects. Whether it’s offering pizza to teens participating in an evening program, supporting a college fair, or sponsoring a teens vs. staff contest for Black History Month, FOL funds enable library staff to personalize the library experience for their branch community.
These are just some of the ways Friends of the Library made a difference to your library and your community in 2017. We are grateful for the support of our Friends and Fans and look forward to your ongoing participation and another wonderful year.
Shop the Library Store this holiday season for all of your gift giving needs. Find unique literary-themed gifts, learning toys for kids, used books, jewelry, artwork, home decor and so much more. Visit us today!
Friends of the Library members and library staff receive 25% off all purchases made November 29 – December 10, 2017. Not yet a member? Join now or at the store. Happy holidays!
The Library Store is located on the first floor of Main Library at 96 South Grant Avenue in downtown Columbus.
LIBRARY STORE HOURS
Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday closed (will be open 1-4 p.m. December 3 – 17 for the holidays)
The Library Store will be closed on the following dates this holiday season:
Saturday, December 23
Sunday, December 24
Monday, December 25
Saturday, December 30
Sunday, December 31
Monday, January 1
Do you know someone who could be described as an energetic, dynamic individual looking for an opportunity to serve our community in a meaningful, positive way? Friends of the Columbus Metropolitan Library is searching for people meeting that description to serve on the organization’s Board of Trustees.
Friends of the Library board members absolutely love the library and have a heart for volunteer leadership. Prospective board members often have previous experience serving on boards or committees and this year, we’re particularly interested in hearing from candidates with business strategy, graphic design, and social media or web design skills. Board members serve three-year-terms (donating an afternoon and evening each month), and enthusiastically network and advocate for the library throughout our community.
If this volunteer leadership opportunity sounds like it might be a good fit for you or someone you know, please take a look at the information packet and application: 2018 FOL Board Nominating Packet & Form. Return the completed form (along with any additional materials detailing your skills and experience) to the address or email provided.
To be considered, submissions must be received by 5 p.m., September 29, 2017. The nominating committee will begin reviewing applications soon thereafter.
The Big Book Sale takes place in the Larry Black Auditorium at Main Library.
Thursday, October 12
4:30 – 8:30 PM
Friends of the Library members only
Friday & Saturday, October 13-14
9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Sunday, October 15
1:00 – 4:00 PM
Friends of the Library members gain access to the pre-sale and receive a 10-20% membership discount on all purchases. Not yet a member? Join now to access the pre-sale and discount. You can also join at the door.
Friends of the Library accepts cash and credit card. Customers are encouraged to bring their own bag to carry their purchases. Your support is greatly appreciated!
On summer weekends in the city, the sounds of merriment and music fill the Topiary Park as families and friends gather for PBJ & Jazz concerts.
Now in its ninth year, the popular PBJ & Jazz concert series introduces jazz and American music to children and their families in casual, one-hour interactive concerts. Each of the concerts features some of Columbus’ finest musicians in a dynamic introduction to live music for young audience members. Each summer, thousands of children and adults attend the popular series.
The concerts will be presented June 10, July 8, August 12, and September 9 from noon to 1 p.m. Each concert is hosted by retired music educator Rebecca Ogden and features a different group of professional musicians from the Jazz Arts Group. The 2017 lineup includes Byron Stripling and the Bobby Floyd Trio, Bright Moments Quintet, Liz Woolley Band, and ZC7: Latin Jazz Experience.
Families are encouraged to bring picnic lunches to enjoy during the free concerts.
A collaborative effort between the Jazz Arts Group, Friends of the Topiary Park, Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) and the Columbus Museum of Art, the concerts build awareness of high-quality cultural activities and educational opportunities for families in downtown Columbus.
Each of the concerts is “bookended” by two family-friendly cultural offerings. Preceding concerts at 11 a.m., CML presents family story time in the Main Library. Following the concerts, the Columbus Museum of Art offers a hands-on art activity from 1 to 2 p.m. All activities are free and open to the public.
Since the introduction of PBJ & Jazz, a grant from the Friends of the Library (FOL) has made it possible to present free concerts of high artistic value to a wide audience. FOL funding supports promotional efforts to build awareness of the series—including advertising and the printing of 10,000 bookmarks distributed through CML’s branches, at the Columbus Arts Festival, and by each participating organization. FOL funding also supports the rental of sound equipment for concerts.
PBJ & Jazz concerts are presented by Friends of the Topiary Park and sponsored by the Discovery Special Improvement District, the Jennifer Michel Keefer Memorial Fund at The Columbus Foundation, and Friends of the Library. Columbus Recreation and Parks, the Discovery Special Improvement District, and Motorists Insurance Group provide in-kind support. WCBE 90.5 FM provides exclusive media support.
The Topiary Park is located at 480 E. Town Street in downtown Columbus. Free parking is available in the Motorists Insurance lot just north of the Topiary Park. In the event of rain, all activities are held in the Main Library, located at 96 S. Grant Avenue, adjacent to the Topiary Park.
It has been a year like no other at Columbus Metropolitan Library, and Friends of the Library (FOL) have been a part of every achievement and celebration. In 2016, we saw the rebirth of a transformed Main Library, opened new branches for Northern Lights, Parsons and Shepard, welcomed thousands of librarians from across the world to the IFLA World Library and Information Congress—all the while maintaining thriving programs that support learning and literacy in Central Ohio. Our community values our library and its vital role in our lives. Friends should be proud that their FOL membership supports this treasured community resource, extending its reach and impact.
The Library Store
With the reopening of the renovated Main Library in June 2016, FOL relaunched The Library Store in an open, centrally located space just off of the atrium. Unique merchandise appealing to bookworms and library lovers of all ages includes posters, apparel, and a wide range of unique handmade items as well as a selection of gently used books. Thanks to strong sales from the library community, including our Friends and Fans, The Library Store has exceeded our financial goals for 2016! Profits from the store help fund the many library programs that FOL supports throughout the year. Friends receive a discount on all purchases at The Library Store.
Big Book Sale Returns
The much-anticipated Big Book Sale returned in November 2016 with record sales and attendance. More than 10,000 items were sold, including used books for children and teens, fiction, cookbooks, biographies, specialty books, DVDs and library merchandise. Proceeds from the sale enables FOL to support library programs and special initiatives. Friends receive early admission to the Big Book Sale. The 2016 Big Book Sale was such a success FOL plans to hold another sale March 30-April 2, so please mark your calendars!
In partnership with the library and a number of local nonprofit galleries and artists’ cooperatives, FOL sponsors exhibits in the Carnegie Gallery throughout the year. Located in the original Carnegie library building, the gallery is now easily accessible from the second floor as well as the majestic marble staircase at the main entrance. The second Art Unbound exhibit marked the reopening of Main Library in June. This exhibition showcased local artists who transformed library books in disrepair into remarkable works of art. Later in the year, Carnegie Gallery hosted two additional exhibits, OOVAR (Ohio Online Visual Artist Registry, a locally juried art show) and Art and Artists of 614. FOL funds support Carnegie Gallery exhibitions throughout the year and provide refreshments at an opening reception for each show. Friends are always invited! FOL receives a commission from artwork sold in the Gallery.
Carnegie’s Cafe at Main Library
Coffee, pastries and lunch are once again being offered for sale at Main Library. Carnegie’s Cafe, located off the atrium across from The Library Store, has an expanded menu and a welcoming and spacious seating area. Friends enjoy a 15% discount at the Cafe.
PBJ and Jazz Concerts with the Columbus Jazz Arts Group
While these popular concerts never skipped a beat, we were glad to have Main Library open again for the 2016 summer season and to welcome families from storytime, who made their way through the beautiful new library atrium to The Topiary Park. A special concert was part of the community celebration for Main Library’s reopening. Four concerts in June, July, August and September welcomed over 1,500 people for stories, music, dancing and fun.
Summer Reading Club
A total of 59,000 children, teens, and adults participated in the 2016 Summer Reading Club. The Club achieved the highest completion rate of 60% for kids aged 5-11 in the program’s history. Reading over the summer is an important way for students to maintain skills, discover the joys of reading for pleasure and become part of a community that values learning. A crowded calendar of special activities kept all participants—and library staff—very busy.
Teen Read Week
FOL sponsored Teen Read Week, welcoming Jason Reynolds, an award-winning young adult author. Visiting six of our urban branches and Main Library, Reynolds spoke to nearly 1,100 middle and high school students, sharing his own story of becoming a reader and writer. An inspiring and entertaining speaker, Reynolds challenged his young audience to find their own way to books and learn to tell their own stories.
FOL funds provide each branch with “spending money,” used to enhance library programs, build community outreach, and fund special projects. Whether it’s offering pizza to teens participating in an evening program, supporting a college fair, or sponsoring a Black History Month teens vs. staff contest, FOL funds enable library staff to personalize the library experience for their branch community.
In all these ways, Friends of the Library make a difference to your library and your community. We are grateful for your support, and look forward to another year with the Friends and Fans of Columbus Metropolitan Library.