Photo Credit: 
Cheyenne Belew | The Chronicle
Two women search for treasure at the Friends of Elgin Community Library’s annual Library Book Sale.
Two women search for treasure at the Friends of Elgin Community Library’s annual Library Book Sale.

ELGIN — To purchase materials and provide more fun, educational programs for patrons, Elgin Community Library Director Leslie Durham works closely with the Friends of the Elgin Community Library.

A group of approximately 100 individuals and 50 local businesses volunteer time and contribute resources to the Library’s initiatives. Mostly through paid dues, Friends of the Elgin Community Library back educational activities that “stimulate public awareness and support of the library,” Friends’ literature reads.

In addition to ECL’s Summer Reading Program and weekly schedules, Friends of the Library sponsors events such as Read Across America and Books Gone Wild to promote literacy and community involvement.

Read Across America Day, held each March, honors famed children’s author Theodor Seuss Geisel, more widely known as Dr. Seuss. For the past several years, Friends have donated approximately 250 books to first-graders at Elgin, Fletcher and Sterling schools.

During Books Gone Wild, a program held last spring and summer, Friends hid books in each community, which allowed readers to read and share the books they found with friends and neighbors.

A few Friends of the Library also volunteered in overseeing the library’s recent Plant and Seed Swap. More than two dozen families visited the library last Saturday to exchange plants and seeds and get advice from Nealis Bradshaw, local gardening expert. Area youths also had fun as they exercised their green thumbs at the plant potting station.

As important and popular as the Friends have been, membership in the vital organization is down. A handful of businesses as well as approximately two dozen individuals have not renewed their membership.

“Other than financially supporting our library, active members who devote their valuable time and resources really help with the Friends’ initiative,” said Durham. “The library couldn’t do what we do without their support.”

To raise funds, a multifamily garage sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1 at 201 W. South Drive, in Fletcher. Approximately 90% of the sale’s proceeds will benefit Elgin Community Library. Items include antiques, furniture, home décor, toys, books and much more, said Jeanne Cook, a longtime Friends’ volunteer who is also a retired school librarian.

“We understand people have full-time jobs, family and other obligations, but when Friends are active in our organization, they will see their contributions come to fruition,” said Cook. “We hope more people and businesses will get involved with what we’re doing for our communities.”

To become a Friend or renew a membership, visit Elgin Community Library at 108 Thoma Drive.