Our library is a learning hub for locals big and small; beyond books they do everything from arts and crafts to 3-D printing. Locals love our library so much they created The Friends of QAC Library, a non-profit that supports our local libraries. I had the chance to talk to one of their board members, Ashley MacLeay, to learn about their book sales program, what she’s been reading lately and more!
For those who don’t know… what is Friends of QAC Library?
The Friends of Queen Anne’s County Library is comprised of individuals and organizations who advocate for the library. Friends volunteer their time and talents to build valuable bridges between our library and community. It is a non-profit that generates financial support for library programs, increases community awareness of the library, and encourages greater use of the library and its resources. Friends’ support is crucial to ensuring that the programs our community has come to appreciate will endure into the future and that new opportunities can be realized.
How did you get involved?
I got involved through the Kent Island Library Expansion Capital Campaign. Growing up on Kent Island, I was a young girl when the Kent Island branch first opened, and my mother was a strong advocate for the library. Now that my three sons use the library, and after seeing the new and improved Kent Island Branch, I wanted to continue to lend my experience to expand the many programs and resources available to residents through the library.
Could you tell me about the used book sale program?
Definitely! The Friends have been holding book sales in the county for almost ten years. Proceeds from these sales allow the Friends to provide support to Queen Anne’s County Library for projects and programs developed for our community. Since its inception, the Friends have provided Queen Anne’s County Library with more than $150,000 to support library favorites like the Summer Reading Program, arts programs, and youth STEM events. The Friends have also provided essential funding for major improvement projects, including the Kent Island Branch renovation and acquisition of the County’s Mobile Library.
How can locals support our library and the Friends of the Library?
The Friends of QAC Library is a member-based organization with annual membership fees starting at $25. Current members of the Friends receive discounts, and new members can join at any time at any of Queen Anne’s County Library’s branches or online at https://friendsofqaclibrary.org/membership. We also welcome interested individuals to participate in our fundraisers and donate gently used books to the Friends.
Any recent projects you all have been working on or upcoming projects in the future?
Friends just finished up a successful used book sale in August. This sale offers something for everyone, thousands of gently-used fiction and non-fiction books in all genres and from hundreds of authors. Shoppers were also able to select from a huge collection of DVDs. For the first time this year, we offered pre-owned jigsaw puzzles for sale at the event.
We will be celebrating National Friends of the Libraries Week October 15-21, 2023 with a fun restaurant giveback fundraiser in the county. Be on the lookout for more information in the coming weeks! We will be posting more on our Facebook page soon.
I’m guessing you’re a reader? Any favorite books you’d like to recommend that can be checked out at our local libraries?
I just finished White House by the Sea : A Century of the Kennedys at Hyannis Port by Kate Storey. It is a well-researched and interesting new nonfiction read that was released this summer. I highly recommend it! The Friends of QAC Library also stocks a Book Nook at each of our branches where you can find many gently used books for purchase. Recent fiction favorites I stocked include It Ends with Us and It Starts with Us by Colleen Hoover. Books purchased at the Book Nook and funds raised go directly back to support the library.
Who is on the board of the organization?
The Friends organization is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. Current board members include:
Kerry Harris – President
Elizabeth Cockey – Vice President
Joan Moored – Treasurer
Melinda Smith – Secretary
Directors develop and implement fundraising plans, conduct community outreach to increase awareness about Queen Anne’s County Library programs and resources (as well as about the Friends of the Library), and work to effectively fulfill funding requests from library leadership.
The Friends look to welcome up to four new Directors to the Board in 2024 and can form committees with additional interested Friends’ members. if you have experience in social media, graphic design, community outreach or fundraising and are interested in joining the board, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to learn more about the Friends of QAC Library you can go to their website here: https://friendsofqaclibrary.org/. You can also see upcoming library events and read about all the services they offer here: https://www.qaclibrary.org/