Friends of the Library expanding as nonprofit

Erin Waller, Daviess County Library Director

For more than 40 years, Friends of the Daviess County Public Library Inc. has worked to provide extra financial support to the library and its various programs.

Their ascension into a nonprofit will allow them to evolve outside of their traditional October book-sale and, not only make donations tax deductible, but host larger fundraisers as well as aid the library in applying for and potentially receiving more grant funding.

Erin Waller, library director, said this opens more financial doors for the facility.

"A lot of people don't realize this, but we are not a nonprofit organization," she said. "We are considered a governmental entity, so there are a lot of grant opportunities that we miss out on. Now, we can join with Friends of the Library to apply for grants that open up vast avenues of opportunity."

Friends of the Library became a full fledged nonprofit on Aug. 30, 2018, and have been working the once "friendly group organization" into the business of being a nonprofit, said Joy Jung, Friends of the Library president.

While they have aided the library in the past through various sales and more grassroots initiatives, now they are focused primarily on boosting membership as well as setting funding goals, she said.

"In the past, we didn't set goals," she said. "We were just very grateful for what we could generate through whatever means we were using.

This coming year we are looking at raising anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000."

On Oct. 19, 2019, they will try their hand at their first large-scale fundraiser following their annual book sale in the first weekend of October, she said.

"We are going to have a trivia night from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.," she said. "The first hour will be a silent auction, and we have accumulated some neat things so far. We have a handmade quilt, memorabilia from Gabe's Tower and Glenmore Distillery has offered up some spirits. We are hoping to gain some interest for having eclectic items. The event will also have a wine and beer bar and after the auction; we will go into trivia."

As Friends of the Library continues to develop their fundraising goals, they also hope to use their new status to gain partnerships with local business entities and build their ranks with those interested in supporting programs that the library offers in its efforts to bring the community together and tackle literacy initiatives, she said.

"It isn't just reading or books; it is a community," she said. "We are really hoping to extend our membership so that we do have active board members that can plan these things and work behind the scenes to make this happen. Currently, there are eight active board members and roughly 25 members, I would like to see that number go up. Hopefully, we can generate some interest with individuals that enjoy the library and didn't have a place to serve or give back. We definitely are interested in companies that are looking to sponsor an entity that supports literacy. We would welcome sponsors for fundraising or to sponsor the Friends of the Library."

Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, jmulliken@messenger-inquirer.com

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