Catawba County News

National Friends of Libraries Week

National Friends of Libraries Week

Published: October 23, 2020

During the week of October 18-24, the Catawba County Library joined libraries around the country to celebrate the contributions made by their Friends of the Library groups. The national observation, now in its 15th year, draws awareness to the role that Friends play in the library’s work and encourages community members to ‘Friend Your Library.’

The Catawba County Library benefits from three Friends groups, affiliated with the Main Library in Newton, the Claremont Branch Library, and the Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch Library. These groups feature both active volunteers and financial supporters who meaningfully enhance the library’s service to county residents.

Each year, the Friends groups host speakers and programs, raise funds through annual and ongoing book sales, create and sell seasonal gift baskets, and spearhead the availability of library conveniences like coffee, tote bags, ear buds, and flash drives. They support the Library Endowment, assist with staff recognition, and sponsor prizes for the library’s health and fitness challenges. They also advocate for the library as a group and as individuals, participating in the library’s annual Legislative Day open house and remaining active in state and regional conventions. Their belief in the value of early childhood literacy, job and career development, technology tutoring, and personal enrichment is demonstrated by their ongoing dedication and commitment.

“While the Friends of the Library are best-known for the fantastic book sales they coordinate, they’re also instrumental in making sure that our library system can book nationally-recognized guest performers for Summer Learning,” shared library director Siobhan Loendorf, “and the Friends allow us to throw community-wide wrap-up parties at the end of the summer. In addition, the Friends ensure that we are able to host receptions for authors, speakers, and special events. Their fundraising efforts take place year-round, and I think most patrons would be surprised to learn how many of the services and programs they enjoy are supported by the Friends.”

To learn more about becoming a Friend of the Library and supporting the library’s work, please visit Application forms and other details are available online and at any library branch. A small donation of $10 is all that’s required to join the Newton or Sherrills Ford-Terrell Friends; the Claremont Friends group does not currently have a membership fee.

National Friends of Libraries Week is coordinated by United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries includes the people who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and the organization brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information, visit