WHAT Are Friends For?

Friends of the Library. At  KDL branches, they are a force to be reckoned with.

The Friends of the Sand Lake/Nelson Township branch, for instance, has contributed more than $100,000 to the building/mortgage fund for the branch, constructed in 2007 — largely from fundraising efforts that have included the creation and sale of a cookbook, plant sales, trash-and-treasure sales, and bake sales and book sales, most recently at the VFW hall, where volunteers set up some 50 tables of materials for sale and donated the proceeds to branch programming.

The Sand Lake Friends has about 20 dues-paying members, with an additional 40 people who help out for various projects, Branch Manager Glenda Middleton said.

One Friend is Dorothy Bishop, former Nelson Township supervisor, who Glenda credits with spearheading the group’s fundraising efforts in the village of Sand Lake, near the border of Montcalm County in northern Kent County with a population of about 500 people, and the township to the south and east of the village, which has some 3,500 residents.

Not a large community, but a strong one that recognizes the importance of a local library.

“I love libraries, and I love this library,” Dorothy said. “The library is such a friendly place. It’s a place to gather and see people you know; it’s just a matter of community.”

Being a Friend isn’t all about raising money. The Sand Lake/Nelson Township Friends group also promotes visits from local authors and other programming, and they use their connections in the community to spark partnerships with other local organizations such as Independent Bank (which will host a Friends bake sale on November 16), area churches, the VFW and local Boy Scouts.

To find out about becoming a Friend, click here or ask about a group at your local branch.


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Written by Morgan J.

Morgan J.

Morgan J. is a KDL communications assistant. She spends summers as a “hood ornament” of sorts while her husband captains their old, cedar-sided pontoon down the Flat River. In the wintertime she counts the days until she’ll have her toes in the water again.

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