Friends of the Library book sale helps PLDL

HOUGHTON — Local library programing is being improved by contributions from a group of volunteers known as Friends of the Library.

The “friends” will be holding a book sale on Friday from 6-8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The money raised will go towards supplies, programs like children’s story time and more.

“It’s a nationwide group, so just about every library has a ‘friends’ group, it seems,” said Library Director Dillon Geshel. Friends of the Library is not part of the library, but work to support library efforts; often by doing work the library itself can not. For example, the friends helps during millage renewal votes.

“The library is able to do informational materials related to a millage election but it can not advocate in an election or in a vote. So the friends of the library can be the ones to really advocate for the library,” said Maria Bergstrom, president of the Friends of the Library.

The “friends” work to spread the word, putting up posters, writing letters to the editor and encouraging residents to go out and vote for millage renewal.

“As a governmental entity we can’t advocate for that sort of thing, but they also support us through fundraising events,” said Geshel.

Since Chassell Township voted to withdraw from the millage in 2016, the library has had changes to their budget.

“The ‘friends’ has been trying to step up our efforts so we can provide some of those program related or equipment related things, bringing up their budget for staff,” said Bergstrom. “We do fundraising events that we then use to help the library, often it’s to purchase equipment or fund programs or special projects.”

“Our mission is to support the library,” Bergstrom said.