The Friends of the North Indian River County Library began as the Friends of the Sebastian Area County Library in April 1983, nearly a year after the library opening at Main Street and U.S. 1 in what is now the Chamber of Commerce building. Jo Miller, the first President, envisioned that the Friends would serve as an advocacy group for the library and provide additional funds for programs, services, and equipment. The name changed when the library moved to the newly built 15,000 sq. ft. location on CR 512 in 1990. Already a vital institution in the north county community, an expansion in 2002 added 10,000 sq. ft. to the library.
The purpose of the Friends has changed very little over the years, as is reflected in the mission statement adopted in May 2015: To partner with the North Indian River County Library to improve, enhance, and expand the materials, services, and programs provided at the library to members of our community.
The Friends provide additional programs and funds, such as the annual film program and the funding of special programs for the Children’s Department.
Staff can request needed equipment not covered in the County budget, such as laptops, printers, new chairs, tables, etc. Also, when funds for books or audiovisual materials are scarce, the Friends buy needed titles.
To raise awareness of the services provided by the library, the Friends make every effort to increase community involvement. They often send out press releases and buy promotional supplies, which have included backpacks, pencils, post-it pads, and magnets.
Every spring, the Friends sponsor a catered luncheon at the library or host it at a local restaurant to honor the volunteers and staff. It is one way to thank them for their service throughout the previous year.
Major fundraisers for the Friends come from membership fees and donations, photocopier fees (the Friends own and maintain the black and white photocopier in the library), and book sales (ongoing and annual).
Why become a member of the Friends? Your dues help the Friends continue to support the library, and thus, serve the community. If you become a member, you can help with fundraising, serving at library programs, or as an officer or committee chairperson. A list of volunteer opportunities is available under the Volunteer tab.
Active members of the Friends are often involved in other community organizations and serve as Friends ambassadors. In doing so, they share information about the services provided by the library and the Friends to those who might not be familiar with them.
Members receive the newsletters published in November and May, and those who provide email addresses receive periodic updates from the President.
The Teen Space in the Library (better known as the Young Adult area) was spruced up with a new television and DVD player for watching movies, along with a new café table and chairs. Two additional book stacks were also funded by the Friends to house additional YA titles.
Money was made available to purchase equipment for the Children’s Department: an Accu-cut machine and a color copier printer.
Several desktop workstation stands were purchased for staff by the Friends.
$2100 was spent for new book carts for the Library.
The Friends purchased 150 new chairs for the meeting room and a dolly for $8,500.