Friends meet pledge of $150,000!

Friends of Interlochen Public Library will have dedicated room

Leave it to the Friends of Interlochen Public Library (IPL) to step up and make a big commitment to the new library campaign. Over the past thirty years, the group’s tireless fundraising has enabled gifts that have enriched the library in many ways. In the past, the group has helped the library acquire books and magazines, updated equipment, and funded the renovation of the library’s interior.

Double the space

Now, they’re looking to the future, they are funding the IPL Friends Room in the new library. The new space will more than double the 140 square feet allotted the group in a dark and remote corner room of the current library. “We’re thwarted at every turn by a lack of space,” said Friends vice president and library historian John Trezise, adding that books for the group’s annual book sale are crammed into an outdoor storage shed.

“The Friends will be much more visible in the new library,” said the group’s current president Ken Eshelman, DVM. “We’ve been a hidden group. This new room will allow us to have an ongoing presence and more active role in the library. Patrons will be much more aware of who we are and will be more inclined to join the cause.”

The Friends group currently has 250 members with a core group that regularly helps with fundraisers and volunteers for events such as the annual children’s Christmas party. Eshelman is eager to grow the group and engage more of the members in active fundraising and events that promote the library and its role in the community. “We view the library as so much more than books on shelves,” said Eshelman. “It is a community asset – truly the anchor. This is the place where people gather. Space where we can come together and interact as community members is limited.”

Jane Hardwicke, a member of the Friends for three decades and an active member of the New Interlochen Library campaign cabinet, echoed the sentiment that drives the Friends of IPL. “I firmly believe libraries are a necessary part of any community, especially if it is to grow and thrive.”

A $150,000 price tag

All that new space and visibility comes with a hefty price tag – one that might deter a less ambitious group. The Friends, however, have had their eye on this prize for some time. They have carefully stewarded proceeds from their annual book and plant sales and have raised the amount! They are still working on raising more for some added details for the room. “We’re always looking for new people and new ideas to help us make our library a better place,” said Eshelman.

Become a friend

Campaign cabinet member Sarah Thompson recently joined the Friends. “This is an easy and fun way to give back to the community. I encourage people to get involved.” Forms for membership are available at the library. Annual dues are $10 for an individual or $20 for a family. Lifetime individual memberships are available for $50 and $75 for a family.