NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

June 10, 2014

A great job helping with Friends month at Amesbury Public Library


Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

As a group, the Friends of the Amesbury Public Library embraces the core values of literacy and lifelong learning, and supports the public library in its mission to provide access to these. With those goals in mind, the Friends raise money to fund all the programming at the library. Author visits, parenting workshops, crafting programs, genealogy programs, summer reading programs and free or reduced admission passes to area museums and attractions — all of these and more are provided by funds the Friends raise through secondhand bookshop sales and paid memberships.

May is Friends month at the APL, the time of the year when we encourage patrons and community members to “Be a Friend” by investing in a Friends’ membership. Membership fees allow the wonderful offerings to continue. We at the Friends are so grateful for this year’s outpouring of support from the Amesbury community. To say thank you to our patrons for joining or renewing memberships in May, the Friends arranged a Local Authors Love Libraries! Saturday morning lecture series, and a fantastic local mystery author panel at our Annual Celebration evening.

Many people worked hard to bring the Saturday series and the Annual Celebration to our public, and I would like to thank them as well.

For devoting significant time at the library discussing their novels, their work and the art and craft of writing, I thank: Anne Easter Smith, Holly Robinson, Carla Panciera, Margie Walker, James Sullivan, Linda Baletsa, Joel Brown, Elisabeth Elo, Edith Maxwell and Tempa Pagel.

A round of applause must go to choral director Susanne Meyer and the AHS Rhythmics for providing excellent a cappella entertainment.

Two more high school student volunteers, Tom Howley and Kira Hazelwood, brought enthusiasm to the hard work of setting up the library to accommodate the 50 or so guests present at our celebration. Thank you both for your strength and willingness to help.

Thanks to the seven community members who donated delicious homebaked treats for our refreshment table. Thanks also to those who donated cold drinks and paper goods.

Cynthia Costello and Marie Messner kept the dessert table looking pretty and greeted everyone with warm smiles. Thanks, ladies, for your help.

I give a huge thank-you to library director Erin Matlin and her entire staff for welcoming so many speakers and patrons into the library during May with good humor and grace.

Thank you to the finest group of volunteers I have ever worked with, my Friends board: Carol Feingold, vice president; Janet Geanoulis, treasurer; secretaries Dianne Cole, Alison Kelley and Pam Gilday; and the Friends Book Shop manager, Christine Conant. Thanks also to regular meeting attendees Barbara Bell, Priscilla Jones and Billie Porter for all their help with special events planning and for their work in the bookshop.

Congratulations to membership raffle winners Rosemary Piper, first prize; Anne Verret-Speck, second prize; and Donna Collins, third prize.

With the help of such a vast and dedicated team of public library supporters behind us, the Friends of the Amesbury Public Library will continue to show the library in its best light, as a vibrant cultural center and beloved community gathering place.

Jane Ward

President of the Friends of the Amesbury Public Library