Join the Friends, the Heart and Soul of the Library

Meet new people. Share a love of libraries. Get out of the house and stay mentally active.

Whatever the reasons, about half of the Friends of the Library members give their time and talents to the library – in addition to their membership dues. The Friends of the Library is a 700+ organization full of folks who love books, book bargains, libraries and meeting other people.

Sherryl Longhofer

Sherryl Longhofer

For Sherryl Longhofer, Friends president, membership is a point of pride. Friends provided valuable seed money for the new Kids Library and for the purchase of a new Bookmobile that will hit the road in mid-2014. “It helps the library innovate at a quicker pace than they’d be able to otherwise afford,” said Longhofer, who joined the library as a volunteer after retiring from the education field in 2004.

“As an educator, I used the library a lot. The resources that the library had were most helpful to me. When I retired, I wanted to give back,” she said.

Shirley Hayden, a Friends member for about five years, sits behind the Information Desk directing people where to go and answering questions from the public. She echoed Longhofer’s desire to give back and says the rewards of volunteering are varied.

“I’ve had very enjoyable and enlightening conversations with friends and strangers here,” she said. “I think one of the more interesting things here are the number of people my age who aren’t good with technology who come here for help. It’s fun to see people embracing computers and ereaders.”


Tim Elmer

Visitors to the library can find Tim Elmer in the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery three times a week. As a Friends member and volunteer, he says he strives to fit into what he calls the “staff culture of providing dedicated service.”

“The staff are really focused on how to better serve the patrons of the library, and I wanted to be part of it,” said Elmer, who has been a Friend for about five years. “I like being out in the rotunda seeing parents with little kids and the kids are filled with such excitement. I love it!”

All three, and many other Friends, really enjoy the fact the library has a cafe and the Chandler Booktique, a gift and used bookstore, where they receive discounts on already bargain prices.

The Friends of the Library were able to contribute $120,000 to the library’s programs, services and collections in 2012 as a result of efforts of member volunteers who collect, sort and sell books in the Chandler Booktique, Bag Day sales, half-price days, online book sales and the annual September sale.

Join the Friends at any of our Book Sales, including the annual book sale in September, or stop in the Chandler Booktique inside the library. Friends memberships start at $20.

Those interested in volunteering at the library, can contact Kari Zimmerman, Library Volunteer Coordinator, at 785-580-4490. All volunteers receive a complementary Friends membership.


Friends volunteer breakfast


Sherryl Longhofer, Friends president; Gina Millsap, library CEO and Duane Johnson, library board president

Sherryl Longhofer, Friends president; Gina Millsap, library CEO and Duane Johnson, library board president

Lisa is a former employee and shared the library story in many of her posts.

3 thoughts on “Join the Friends, the Heart and Soul of the Library

  1. I would love to volunteer, my husband and I volunteered 15 years for Oregon’s Parks and Recreation Dept. I always looked up the local Library. I love to read, Historical Fiction is one of my favorites. I’m 85 and only drive in good weather and never at night. If you can find a spot for me I’ll be glad to help. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays I have other commitments. Thanks, 266 4165

  2. I would like to volunteer once a week. What have you got for me to do? 862-2839 I’m available most days.

  3. Please contact me regarding volunteering. My husband and I travel through out the year, so I’m not available on a consistent basis. However, when we are home I would like to help out.

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