city council mayor plano give friends check
(L to R): Kim Malouf, Fred Frawley, Director of Plano Libraries Cathy Ziegler, Rob Neff, Scott Johnson, Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere, Jenny Song, Chris Parr and Arlene Englert – Friends Board members, plus Cathy and Mayor LaRosiliere

Donating is nothing new, and certainly not to a Plano-based organization that recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.

The Friends of Plano Public Library are a nonprofit advocate group dedicated to supporting and enhancing Plano’s five libraries beyond what the city provides. Their staff is unpaid and the majority of support consists of yearly financial contributions and countless volunteer hours at the libraries.

Friends Board President Scott Johnson and Board member Fred Frawley

In the last 10 years alone, Friends has donated over $1 million, plus tens of thousands of volunteer hours. Every December, a check is presented at Plano City Hall, and this year the organization raised over $111,000 in donations, an increase from 2014. Plano City Council then gives the money to each library to purchase books, eBooks, eMagazines and eAudio sets. In addition, Friends funds family programs, events, ESL classes and library staff training.

Interested in becoming a member or volunteer? Anyone is welcome to become a member of Friends and membership fees begin at $20 per year for individuals or $35 for families. Not only do Plano’s local libraries benefit from members, but benefits are given to members as well. Friends members’ benefits include early and free entry to the Annual Book Sale in August; a discount on Annual Book Sale material; and notice of library events, activities and family programs. Volunteers are welcome year-round and are not required to be members. Volunteer opportunities include social media marketing, sorting books and being an attendant at the Annual Book Sale.

The 33rd Annual Book Sale will occur on August 5, 6 and 7, 2016 at Plano Centre where the tables are delved into for treasures, hot sellers and bought books. Community support makes the book sale a success and ensures Friends can provide funding for innovative materials and programs at the libraries.

Photography by Stephen Tanner.

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Colbea Smith

Colbea Smith is a young professional who grew up in Plano and loves the community she will always consider “home”. She is a proud alumna of Texas State University – Go Bobcats! – who spent most...