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Friends work to keep libraries strong

Volunteer-run — Carolyn Kieler and Barbara O’Neill manage the Friends of the Library Book Store in DeLand on a Monday morning. The Friends program, including the Book Store and monthly book sale, is run by volunteers.

Volunteer-run — Carolyn Kieler and Barbara O’Neill manage the Friends of the Library Book Store in DeLand on a Monday morning. The Friends program, including the Book Store and monthly book sale, is run by volunteers.

BEACON PHOTOS/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN

JSL members Marcy Weaver, Jennifer Hightower and Rachel Ebert congratulate Caccamise.

JSL members Marcy Weaver, Jennifer Hightower and Rachel Ebert congratulate Louise Caccamise of the Friends of the DeLand Library on winning 2017 DeLand Woman Leader of the Year

Nominees — In the running for the Junior Service League’s DeLand Woman Leader of the Year honor were, from left, Belinda Huttmann, owner of FACEit! Skin Spa; Keri Wagner, senior director of finance for DaVita Labs; Alissa Lapinsky, owner of A List Hair Salon; Barb Shepherd, publisher and co-founder of The Beacon; Louise Ball Caccamise, who won the award in recognition of her dedication to literacy and historic preservation; Cheryl Lankford, director of Lankford Funeral Home; Linda Ryan, director and co-foun

Nominees — In the running for the Junior Service League’s DeLand Woman Leader of the Year honor were, from left, Belinda Huttmann, owner of FACEit! Skin Spa; Keri Wagner, senior director of finance for DaVita Labs; Alissa Lapinsky, owner of A List Hair Salon; Barb Shepherd, publisher and co-founder of The Beacon; Louise Ball Caccamise, who won the award in recognition of her dedication to literacy and historic preservation; Cheryl Lankford, director of Lankford Funeral Home; Linda Ryan, director and co-founder of ME STRONG; and Brandy Hogue, coordinator of assessment and development for Volusia County Schools.

Tucked away in the north corner of the DeLand Regional Library is one of the town’s best-kept secrets: the Friends of the DeLand Public Library Book Store.

This nonprofit store donates all of its earnings to the DeLand Regional Library.

Most public libraries have Friends groups to support them; DeLand has had one since 1957. The first gift the Friends gave in DeLand was a set of World Book Encyclopedias, setting the stage for this organization’s six decades of helping fund and improve the community library.

Currently, the DeLand Friends group has 248 members. Over the years, the Friends have bought computers and furniture for the library, and funded summer programs for children. Most recently, the group bought the library flat-screen televisions.

Funding for the volunteer-run nonprofit comes from membership dues, the Book Store, and monthly used-book sales. How much money could this possibly raise?

“Since I’ve been on the board, probably about $30,000 a year; maybe a little bit more,” said Joyce Chester, who volunteers as the Book Store manager.

“Last year, we gave the library money for the licenses they need for online library subscriptions,” Chester said.

The nonprofit donated funds to operate Hoopla, one of the library’s electronic services that offers access to downloadable audiobooks, e-books and music.

Books for the store and book sales are culled from the library’s collection, or donated by community members directly to the Friends of the DeLand Public Library.

“Every book that comes into the Book Store gets processed [on a computer], and it will tell us if the book is of value,” Chester said.

The Friends have quite a few donated books that are worth quite a bit more than the Book Store’s low prices.

“If a book has a value on it that we know we’re not going to get from someone walking into the store,” said Chester, ”we have a person that sells the book for us online.”

Not just book sales make the Friends’ donations possible: Several years ago, a local woman passed away and left all of her funds to the Friends of the Library. She allocated those funds to the purchase of large-print books for the library in DeLand.

“All the large-print books for the library come from that fund,” Chester said.

Thanks to the woman’s donation, several thousand dollars’ worth of large-print books have been acquired for the library.

The Friends welcome all donations to their Book Store and the monthly used-book sale.

You can drop off books at their bookstore, which has a separate entrance on the north side of the building at 130 E. Howry Ave.

The Friends of the Library Book Store is open 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

You can learn more about the DeLand Friends of the Library at www.dfotl.org.

 

How can I help?

An annual membership with the Friends of the DeLand Public Library costs $5, and includes a coupon for a one-day 50-percent-off shopping spree in the Book Store. Members also get into the monthly book sale two hours before the general public is allowed to shop, so they get the pick of the crop. Currently, there are 248 members of the DeLand Friends of the Library.

 

BY THE NUMBERS

2.9 million: There were 2,925,590 virtual visits to Volusia County libraries’ online resources, while 2,543,122 people visited library branches in person.

598,545: The number of times patrons used computers or the internet in libraries was 598,545.

3.3 million: More than 3.3 million physical items were circulated by Volusia County libraries, while thousands of patrons enjoyed downloadable or streaming digital offerings: 260,779 electronic books and audiobooks, and 251,960 songs.

126,360: Educational, literacy, cultural, recreational and entertainment programs in library branches attracted 126,360 people of all ages.

— Information for fiscal year 2016 provided by Lucinda Colee, director of Library Services for Volusia County

 

- A. Janell Williams, janell@beacononlinenews.com

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