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Jeanne Sager | Democrat

Liberty Public Library on North Main St.

Liberty Public Library Gains A Group Of 'Friends'

By Jeanne Sager
LIBERTY — November 30, 2007 — There’s just one thing Jodi Kane can’t figure out.
“I still can't believe that people buy books when the library will let you read them for free!” Kane pondered.
It’s folks like Kane that make Marjorie Linko smile.
The manager of the library right on Main Street in Liberty has been doing a lot of smiling lately.
Her library has been blessed with the creation of its first “Friends” group, an organization of people who came together with just one goal in mind: promoting Liberty library.
Technically, it’s a fund-raising arm of the library, people with fresh ideas and plans to bring in money to offset the taxes collected from library district residents.
More importantly, they’re advocates of the library, Linko explained.
“It’s exciting not just from the fund-raising aspect, but to get people who love libraries talking about the library,” Linko said.
Kane is the first president of the fledgling group and a prime example of why a Friends group can work in Liberty.
“When I first moved to Liberty, I had a preconceived notion that this little rural library would not have the selection nor services that you get with a big city library,” Kane recalled. “Boy was I wrong!
“The staff is friendly and accommodating, and the resources available are tremendous.”
An adult student working on her bachelor’s degree, Kane stops in at the library regularly to pick up resources for her coursework.
While she’s there, she’ll check out the new novel from the stacks or take a look through the older titles for a walk down memory lane.
“ When I was a little girl, a trip to the library was a wondrous adventure,” Kane recalled. “There were places I could go and people I could meet...without ever leaving my chair.
“I want others to feel that way about their library too.”
That’s where the Friends come in.
They’re hyping the library like nobody’s business.
A brochure filled with information and famous quotes that drive home their point is available at the check-out desk.
Fund-raisers are in the works, and the news is out on the airwaves of the local country station.
One of Sullivan County’s oldest libraries, Liberty’s book lending facility was set up in the 1890s.
The current location opened in 1965 thanks to a donation from Jacob and Edith Beck, the couple for whom the building in front of the Liberty Elementary School is named.
The 3,000 square foot structure is chock full of books, movies, magazines and more.
Computers line the front wall, providing free Internet access for the many people in the community who don’t have a computer in their own homes.
Open six days a week, the library is run by a staff of eight including full- and part-timers.
Their salaries, the cost of building upkeep and the purchase of books all come from the $287,000 budget funded by Liberty taxpayers.
The rest, from a bulletin board Linko would like to set up in the front to child-sized chairs for the children’s room, has to come from donations – monies the Friends group hopes to raise now that they’re officially set up.
The Friends just held its first official annual meeting, and paperwork has been filed to obtain 501c3 status.
Members need only pay dues – $5 for individual members, $10 for a family, $50 for not-for-profit organizations or $100 for a business.
To join, anyone can stop by a meeting on the first Thursday of the month, right at the library at 5:30 p.m.
More immediately, anyone can help by stopping into Floyd and Bobo’s Bakery, located just down Main Street from the library, this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
There the Friends will have silver jewelry on sale for the holidays – to line the pockets of the library.
For more information, call the library at 292-6070.

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