September 20, 2017
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A jewel hidden in the library

  • Joan Schmutz and Damajah B. Heinemann, two of the many library volunteers. Irene Hilsendager

By: Irene Hilsendager
September 8, 2017
Friends of the Rohnert Park-Cotati Library

The Friends of the Library is a non-profit volunteer national organization incorporated in 1976 and is dedicated to bringing the magic of books and enrichment programs to everyone by supporting the library. 

The Friends of the Library located on Lynne Conde Way is very proud of their little bookstore. The new library was built in 2003 and that is when the director asked what Friends of the Library wished for in the new building. Everyone agreed it should be a bookstore but along with this it would take dedication, hard work, a core group of people who are passionate about the cause and the support of many people in the community. 

Every year, Friends of the Library groups have their own national week of celebration when it is used to promote and raise awareness of the library’s services within the community and also to promote membership. 

Friends of the Library can also set up to run community libraries or volunteers who support a public library by fundraising or arranging events. 

A public library is a library that is accessible to the general public and is generally funded from public sources. It is usually operated by librarians and library paraprofessionals. 

The Friends of the Library organization, activities and business is managed by its Board of Directors and currently Pam Novelly is the president. This organization pays for programming and buys books and materials for the local library. At  present, about 50 men and women of all ages volunteer in the bookstore and the back storage rooms where books are sorted, dusted off, checked to make sure there aren’t any musty smells present and get involved for a weekly commitment during the normal library hours. All volunteers support the major book sales and other Friends’ activities.

Since June of 2015, the Friends of the Library book store membership dues have generated over $58,000 in gifts to the Regional Library. When donating books, consider what funding this will do for the activities that get done. A new teen center was constructed in one part of the library, there is a teen gift crafting area and children’s reading programs have been established. 

The Friends’ primary fundraising is the reselling of donated new and used books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, and even gaming videos and other printed materials through the bookstore. Every six months the books are rotated and go into the book sale. The big October sale will be held starting Wednesday October 4 and the half- priced bag sale will be October 7.

The Friends of the Library bookstore is located in the Rohnert Park-Cotati Library across from the circulation desk and is open every day at 10 a.m. As you walk into the main library, look across the lobby and discover the well-stocked gem of a bookstore.

The Board meets monthly on the third Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. in the library conference room. If you wish to donate books, please leave the donations on the cart just outside the bookstore. A receipt can be provided for the tax records. The Friends of the Library has an annual membership of $5 per year. A membership provides newsletters before a sale which usually is held three times a year and this also allows you to preview night before the regular book sale. Let us support our local Friends of the Library by contacting them at 707-584-9121, ext. 0940.