This is National Friends of Libraries Week, a time to recognize the contributions of groups that support and advocate for library services.

The Friends of the Roseburg Public Library may be most recognized for its book sales, which include an ongoing sale in the library as well as larger sales with hundreds of titles. The special sales are on hiatus because of COVID-19, but Friends volunteers continue to set aside books in newer condition in anticipation of restarting the live events.

Behind the scenes, several volunteers manage the Friends’ Amazon book sale account. They list discarded and donated items, package them for shipping and handle the finances.

The library used proceeds from Friends donations over the past year to fund the Summer Reading Program, create the popular StoryWalk project, purchase equipment and supplies for the Maker Space, acquire a portable LCD projector and more.

One of the Friends of the Roseburg Public Library’s newest projects is serving as the Dolly Parton Imagination Library affiliate in the greater Roseburg, Glide and Idleyld Park communities. The affiliate must be a 501©(3) nonprofit organization, and I was thrilled when the Friends stepped into the role.

Imagination Library is an international program that mails one new, age-appropriate, free book every month to children from birth until they reach age 5.

As the affiliate, the Friends group is responsible for fundraising $25 per year per registered child. In return, the child receives 12 high-quality books to keep. The Friends has received support from The Ford Family Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation, Umpqua Health Alliance, Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation, Mercy Foundation, Umpqua Bank and individual donors.

Our program serves residents of the following zip codes: 97443, 97447, 97470, 97471, 97494 and 97495. Visit the library’s website at www.roseburgpubliclibrary.org to register. I encourage residents outside of our service area to contact their local libraries; Imagination Library is available through several affiliates in Douglas County.

The Friends group plans to continue the program in perpetuity, a significant task considering about 3,000 local youth are eligible to participate. We are closing in on our first year with 750 active registrants and 100 graduates.

Most recently, the Friends adopted the trail adjacent to the Friendship Garden behind the library. Our Sister Cities friends maintain the garden, and their teamwork ensures an inviting space.

Finally, the Friends of the Roseburg Public Library promotes library services by sharing information about projects, attending programs and checking out materials.

Please consider becoming a Friend. Annual dues are $8 for individuals and $15 for families. Business and lifetime memberships are available. Visit the Friends’ website at www.roseburglibraryfriends.org or stop by the library for more information.

Kris Wiley is the director of the Roseburg Public Library. She can be reached at kwiley@cityofroseburg.org or 541-492-7051.

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