Friends News and Notes – January 2008

Looking Forward to a New Downtown Library

This is an exciting time for our Friends group. Two proposals for a new downtown library are being considered by the city of Madison. If the city approves construction or significant remodeling our group is likely to be called on to support the fundraising and development process in a number of ways. We need to maintain and expand our membership to demonstrate continuing support for quality library services in our community and to ensure we have a strong base of support to draw on for the many tasks that lie ahead. Please use the form at the bottom of this page to renew your membership and send an extra contribution if you can. Your current Friends membership will expire March 31.

Dues and additional donations from members generally provide between $2,000 and $3,000 in annual revenue for the Friends organization. Though individual and family dues remain low to ensure that membership will be affordable to persons of every age and income level, please contribute more if you can. Your contributions to the Friends permit additional grants to the library to enhance the services and collections of all the libraries across the city and will be part of the fund that may help build a new library.

If you have already sent your renewal for the 2009-10 fiscal year you do not need to do anything at this time – though we would be grateful for an additional contribution. To check your membership status contact Carol Sawyer at the Library, 266-6342.
NOTE: Donations to the Library Foundation’s Annual Campaign do not count as Friends dues – but we thank any of you that were Volunteers Are Always Needed!!

In order to raise money to donate to the library we need individuals who are also willing to donate time to our activities. The Friends of the Library have many volunteer opportunities, including these:

Book Sale Coordinator

Our long-time coordinator is looking forward to being able to reduce involvement with the project and hand off the responsibility to a new generation. There are currently three sales each year and the work involves contacting volunteers to work at the sale, overseeing the set-up and clean-up, and depositing the receipts. Call Ann Falconer, at 241-2571, for more information.

FMPL Board of Directors

The terms of office for all Friends Board members end at the annual membership meeting in May. Responsibilities include oversight of the volunteer and fundraising activities and participating in decisions about how donated funds can best benefit the library. For information call Gary Poulson at 233-0914.

Book Store

The Book Store on the second floor of the downtown library, which sells used books and many other materials, is always in need of volunteers to work as sales clerks. Two hour shifts are standard but hours can fit your schedule, training will be provided, and you will have the first chance to see new materials. Sign up in the Book Store or contact Lynn Bucher at 827-5974 or 358-8271.

Information about Friends volunteer opportunities can also be found through the United Way’s Volunteer Your Time.

Friends Contributions Provide $19,675 for Library Grants

During 2007-08 the Friends took in just over $32,000 in revenue. At the January meeting the FMPL board approved $19,675 in grants to the library for 2009. Friends donations will provide $5,000 for children’s programming including the Summer Library Program that operates throughout the city; $1,000 for adult programming at the Central library; $5,600 to pay the annual fee for BookLetters, a commercial service that runs all of the Library’s 20 email newsletters that go to over 5,000 subscribers on topics ranging from featured library programs for adults, children and teens to recommended books; $2,000 for the Too Good To Miss book collection and display; $2,000 to improve the teen book collection; and $2,000 for the E*vanced calendar interface that allows library customers to check for programs at any site, for any date, or type of program.

Grants were also approved for a number of staff-initiated projects. $800 will fund Making Our Digital History A Priority – which will support the continuing digitization of historical Madison City Directories begun in 2005. The collection includes The Annual Reports of the Officers of the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive Association for the Years Ending 1899-1905 and historical Madison City Directories and Plat Books; $250 will pay for the enhancement of the teen collection at the Pinney Branch Library; $300 will allow the Hawthorne and Meadowridge Branches to install courtesy phones; $125 will allow the Central Library to partner with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and Volunteers in Tax Assistance to provide FREE ONLINE tax filing for individuals in the 2009 tax season without income restrictions; $250 will be used to purchase a Wii and games for the Lakeview Library to provide outreach to senior centers; and $350 will provide additional funding to allow the library to expand the well-used collection of Book Discussion Kits by adding high demand titles and popular titles with long waiting lists.

During 2008 nearly $21,000 in FMPL grants paid for the Summer Library Program, which involved at least 6,187 children and youth; adult programming at the Central Library, including author visits; Bookletters, email newsletters on topics ranging from featured library programs for adults, children and teens to recommended books; ExpressionEngine, a content management pilot program; materials to support emergent literacy; a new globe for the train table at the Central Library; and a number of staff-initiated projects to benefit particular services, patron groups, branches, or neighborhoods.

FMPL Funds Support Branch Projects in 2008

One of the staff-initiated requests came from Ching Wong in Reference & User Services, for materials on emergent literacy in babies and toddlers. 85 Titles were purchased and were distributed among the six branches (Central, Hawthorne, Meadowridge, Pinney, Sequoya, and South Madison) that have a designated Parenting Collection. Though added in mid-year, most titles had circulated over 5 times by last November.

Dates and Updates

Annual Meeting

The Friends Annual Membership Meeting is tentatively scheduled for early May.
Board Meetings 2008-09 – The last meeting for the current fiscal year is scheduled for March 16. The meeting will be held in the downtown library at 201 W. Mifflin Street and is tentatively scheduled to begin at 5:00 pm. All FMPL Board meetings are open to the public. FMPL members interested in serving on the board next year are particularly encouraged to attend. Call the Library administration office, 266-6363, FMPL Board President Janice Zmrazek at 833-6310, or check the Internet – – to confirm meeting dates and times.

Book Sales

  • February 12-14
  • April 23-25, 2009
  • Note that all sales take place over three days, with the first day starting out with a member’s-only preview from 12 to 6. (See the flyer included with this mailing for further details about the winter sale and contact Ann Falconer, 241-2571, for information, or to volunteer). Book sale information and dates can also be found on the Madison Public Library Calendar.


    Copies of the current Friends of the Madison Public Library By-Laws are available to any interested person. Please write to the Friends, 201 West Mifflin Street, Madison, WI 53703 to request a copy.


    The Madison Public Library Foundation’s current activities include donor recognition, promoting the library and planning related to South Madison and the Central Library. For information about the Foundation contact Janice Zmrazek at 833-6310 or go to

    Friends Book Store

    Hours are generally 11 to 3 Monday through Friday and 10 to 1 on Saturday. The shop may also be open from 1 to 4 on Sundays from October through April if the downtown library is open.


    The tentative date for the next Friends mailing is April 8. Friends mailings include newsletters, member cards, notices of book sales and the annual meeting, and membership renewals. Mailings typically are held at the Bernard Schwab library from 12:00 to 3:00 but occasionally require additional work after 5:00. Call Janice Zmrazek, 833-6310, for information. Friends volunteers may also have an opportunity to come and help with the mailing for the Library or the Library Foundation.

    Member Card

    A Friends member card for persons who paid membership dues since the October mailing should arrive in the mail before the February booksale. Bring the card with you to gain access to the Friends book sale during members-only hours on Thursday February 12 and to gain access to other members-only events throughout the year. If you paid Friends dues after October 8 and have not received a member card by February 10 please call the library at 266-6342.


    Articles and information of interest to members and notices of public events and educational programs will be included in the April issues of Friends News and Notes if provided to Janice Zmrazek by April 3.

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