I want to take a minute to tell you about the Friends of the Orange County Library System. They’re an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that exists to help fund library programs that aren’t covered by our budget. They are the organization that runs our bookstore and gift shop, helps coordinate our volunteer program and funds the publication of the monthly Books & Beyond magazine.
Another thing the Friends are responsible for is providing special funding for our Prime Time Family Reading Program, which brings families together to read, talk and share a meal away from the distractions of daily life. The Friends provide scholarships for library employees who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree or obtain a degree in library science. They also host special events, like our annual Booktoberfest beer-tasting fundraiser every fall, and this month they bring well-known author Brittany Hennessy to the Orlando Public Library to talk about how influencers are using social media to change the marketing landscape.
Every May, we try to highlight the Friends with a membership drive where we educate the public about who they are and what they do. This membership drive is so important, because to do their work and support our library, they need your help. All you have to do is show your support by joining the Friends. For as little as $15 per year, you can help them underwrite programs, purchase supplies for events and help our libraries be the best that they can be.
Friendship also comes with some perks for you, as well. If you join at the $50 level or above, you’ll receive free tickets to events, as well as discounts in our bookstore and an opportunity to receive a copy of Books & Beyond delivered to your home each month. Your membership is tax-deductible, too!