Roseburg Public Library will spend the week of Oct. 17-23, celebrating our Friends of the Library group as part of the 16th annual National Friends of Libraries Week.

The Friends of the Douglas County Library System was established decades ago to fundraise and advocate for public library services. When Roseburg Public Library opened in 2018, the organization changed its name to the Friends of the Roseburg Public Library and signed a memorandum of understanding with the city of Roseburg to support the library’s services and programs.

Kris Wiley

Kris Wiley

Kris Wiley

Nearly 200 community members belong to the Friends, and a core group actively volunteers with fundraising efforts that include the permanent Friends Book Store in the library, regular special book sales at the library and an online bookstore through Amazon as Oregon Friends of the Library.

Proceeds from sales have been used to enhance several library projects over the past year, including the Summer Reading Program, new children’s computer workstations and public presentations.

As a 501©(3) organization, the Friends was positioned to become the local affiliate for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Our service area includes the Glide, Idleyld Park, Roseburg, Wilbur and Winchester zip codes, ensuring all registered children from birth to fifth birthday receive one free, new book every month in the mail.

In just two years, the program has reached nearly 1,400 area children. To register, go to imaginationlibrary.com and click “Check Availability.” Several affiliates cover most of Douglas County.

Behind the scenes, the Friends serves as the applying organization and fiscal agent for the program, which requires the local affiliate to fundraise $25 per registered child per year.

The Friends’ nonprofit status also helps when library staff identifies a grant project that requires the applicant be a 501©(3). Our close working relationship means we are able to pursue opportunities not otherwise available to us.

Please consider joining the Friends of the Roseburg Public Library. Membership is on a calendar year basis and ranges from $8 for an individual to a one-time contribution of $100 for the lifetime option.

More information about the Friends, including the membership form, can be found at the group’s website, roseburglibraryfriends.org.

A one-week recognition is not nearly enough for the work the Friends members do and the support they provide. In ways large and small, they add value to the library and the community. Thank you, Friends!

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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