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GBCPL initiates Friends of the Library program

The Greenville-Butler County Public Library will hold a meeting Monday, Oct. 17 for its new Friends of the Library organization beginning at 4 p.m.

The Greenville-Butler County Public Library will hold a meeting Monday, Oct. 17 for its new Friends of the Library organization beginning at 4 p.m.

The Greenville-Butler County Public Library is in search of friends for its latest fundraising effort.

The library will be hosting a Friends of the Library organizational meeting on Monday, Oct. 17 at 4 p.m. from the library’s community room to discuss possible fundraising opportunities and events for the year ahead.

GBCPL director Kevin Pearcey said that Friends of the Library, a nationwide organization, could be an incredibly valuable fundraising tool on a local level.

“It’s generally a good fundraising arm for the library because the money they’ll bring in will help with programs, getting books and things like that,” Pearcey said. “We haven’t had a Friends of the Library organization here at the Greenville-Butler County Public Library in a very long time, so we felt that this was a good time, with our new renovations, to restart this great organization. 

“Mrs. Lorraine Boutwell has generously agreed to head this up.  Mrs. Boutwell has been involved with our library for several years, so we’re very excited to have her head this up, and work with me and the board members to come up with a good plan going forward for how to help the library.”

In addition to discussing future fundraising possibilities, the meeting will also prove an opportunity to discuss the scope of the Friends of the Library organization itself. According to Boutwell, the size of its membership will largely define the role it will play, but members need not worry about neglecting other responsibilities for the sake of it.

“You can be as involved in this as you want to be,” Boutwell said. “It’ll be something where we’ll have meetings and organize this according to the people who show up.”

“Of course, we want people to help, but we also understand that there are other things that people need to be involved in within the community,” Pearcey added.

“Any type of help that they can render to the library will certainly be appreciated.”

Both Pearcey and Boutwell agreed that ideas have just as much value as donations. “And we want them to bring ideas, if they have thoughts of how to help the library,” Pearcey added. 

“This is a real community-themed organization.  Mrs. Lorraine is going to head it up for us, but everybody has ideas about what we can do to raise money for the library.”

Though the Greenville-Butler County Public Library has already established a series of successful fundraisers and all-ages events throughout the year, Pearcey said that the Friends of the Library organization could give the library a little extra leeway for more creative, experimental events in between more standardized fare.

“One of the other national Friends organizations did this event called a Not-so-newlywed Game,” Pearcey said. “They had a select group of people out of the crowd that got to sit with their husbands and wives and write the little cards, and we’d do some type of event like a dinner down at the pavilion.  I’m not saying we’re doing that, but that’s just something out of the box that we think people would enjoy doing, and we’ve got a perfect place down there at the pavilion to do stuff like that.”

Boutwell added that Friends of the Library organization could have an impact on the library beyond its programs.

“There were a few things on Kevin’s wish list that didn’t get done at the library, and these fundraisers can help add a few more small things to the library that maybe didn’t get included in the renovations,” Boutwell said.

“That’s why we want as many people as we can get here to share ideas, and to walk through the library and see the library,” Pearcey said. “There are some things I may not have thought of.  Anytime you have an organization like that where you have people sharing ideas, it’s always better.”