The Friends of the Ashe County Public Library are gearing up for another year of promoting literacy in the county following a year of awards and honors for the group.
Last October, the Friends were rewarded for their dedication to assisting the library when they were given the Frances B. Reid Award for outstanding service by the Friends of North Carolina Public Libraries, and they already have a full schedule of events planned for 2014.
Clint Johnson, president of the Friends of the Library, said the volunteer group has been working for approximately 30 years to help fund the library’s capital expense costs.
The Friends raise funds primarily from used book sales, which are on-going in the library, and by selling gift baskets of donated items, which can be purchased from the circulation desk.
“We’re the best deal for books and gift baskets in Ashe County,” Johnson said, “And all of the money goes to the library.”
Last year the volunteers not only funded the new electronic tagging system for the library’s books, but helped to tag each and every book and C.D. on the library’s shelves.
In addition to funding adult and children’s services for the library, the Friends host monthly speakers for at their group meetings.
The first speaker of the year will be Shelley Felder, owner of the Honey Hole in West Jefferson, who will address the group on at the Feb. 26 meeting regarding the importance of bees to the local ecosystem.
On March 26, David Sill of Ray’s Weather will discuss weather forecasting, and in April writer Rose Haynes will discuss her book “The Ore Knob Mine Murders,” which focuses on the 1980s motorcycle gang murders that brought a bad light to Ashe County.
“I really think if you like books or are literary-minded, we are the best game in town,” Johnson said.
Johnson said the group is always looking for volunteers to help in the library with cleaning and stacking books, and welcomes donations of used books and items for the gift baskets.
The Friends of the Library meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 11 a.m. in the Friends Room in the basement of the Ashe County Public Library. Those interested in joining can find a application at www.ashelibrary.com/friends or can get an application in the lobby of the library.
“We’ve got one of the best small libraries in all of North Carolina, and we’ve got one of the best groups of volunteers to help support that library,” Johnson said,“We do this because reading is fundamental for success in life…reading takes you wherever you want to go.”