By Stephen Smoot
“I feel in my heart that reading is a blessing for everyone,” writes Madeline Hoover, president of the Friends of the Library. She added that “to sit down with a good book is relaxing and enriching.”
After closing out an active and exciting slate of programs for 2022, the Friends of the Library held its first meeting of the year.
The meeting focused on plans for the annual meeting, which will take place on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend and participate. A light partially potluck supper and drinks will be available for attendees. Members present at the board meeting signed up for their choice in what to bring, including both savory and sweet options.
Entertainment at the “family-friendly program” will be provided by Walter Hojka and Friends, country and old-time musicians. Hojka taught at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Illinois, before relocating. He now directs the Martinsburg High School orchestra and also runs Snowy Mountain Music School in the county.
The event will also include one of the most popular items, the free book table. Donated books in good condition will be available to attendees. Anyone who wants a book may take one. Board members said there are “lots of heavy oversized coffee table books, music books, old church hymnals,” and other items of interest.
Members who wish to help set up can come to the library on Feb. 10 at 4 p.m. to help prepare for the event.
Another major point of discussion lay in figuring out easier ways to track group membership. It was suggested that the group reach out to the Pendleton County Historical Society to learn their processes and see if they might work for the Friends of the Library. A board member also mentioned that the system must account for the fact that those who sign up late in the year, such as at the Treasure Mountain Festival, do not have to pay dues until the following year. It was agreed that having a system that could send reminders about meetings, dues, etc., would be helpful.
Board members also saw the annual newsletter set for distribution this month. The newsletter features the activities and progress from the previous year. This year’s started with “It is with joy that we report on another year.” Donations from the Friends of the Library to the Pendleton County Library totaled $2,295, a huge help to an institution that runs on a thin margin of funding.
The newsletter showcased community events at the library, including a presentation for children about lessons from Charlie Brown and the Peanuts cartoon, the story time program led by Becky McConnell, library director, and her staff, local musicians headlining fundraisers, and much more.
The group praised Future Generations for donating printing services. Board members noted that they used paper that cost less, but added more flexibility to the creation of brochures or trifold style fliers. Because Future Generations printed the newsletter in house, it took only two weeks to receive the materials.
Hoover also wrote that “the library and our Friends group is reaching out to help the community in all we do. We welcome and thank everyone who participates or helps us out in any way.”
The next regular meeting will take place on Feb 7.