Friends assisting library growth
By April Durham
In 1940, after seeing a need for a public library facility, the New Century Club established the Delmar Public Library with the local community's support. Today located at 101 North Bi-State Blvd., the library was initially placed on Grove Street and later moved to its second site at East State Street.
The library was built as a memorial to the late Delmar residents Lyndall C. Hayman, his wife, Virginia and his son, Robert. Since its completion, additions have been made including an expansion of the reference area, a new children's room and the Hayman Meeting Room. On April 15, the library celebrated their 60th year of service to the Delmar communities.
The Delmar Public Library held its introductory meeting for Friends of the Delmar Public Library this past May. The group, which had not been active since the 1980's, held its second meeting last month. Representing a variety of ages and professions, Friends of the Library is a group of individuals who come together each month to support the library in a number of ways.
Becoming a part of Friends of the library gives residents an opportunity to have a direct impact on what programming will be offered at the library. They can raise funds for the library, provide direct support as a volunteer or give publicity for the library.
"During the first meeting we decided the direction that the group wanted to take," said John Phillos, director of the Delmar Public Library. "They decided to focus on supporting the programs in the library and to work on getting publicity for the activities."
Phillos says that although the library has a lot of summer reading programs for kids one thing he hopes to improve upon is the amount of adult programming. Through Friends of the Library's support, Phillos says he hopes to have more guest speakers and book signings, and have a time set aside for retired teachers or members of the community to come into the library to help middle and high school students on homework.
"There are all kinds of activities that we can do depending on what the community wants. I can coordinate the activities but what I need is the support of the community to say yes, we want these events to happen and we'll be there to support the operation," said Phillos.
In addition to designing and promoting programs, members of the friends group help in the library during presentations.
Applications to become a member of the friends group are available at the library. Annual membership is $5 for an individual, $10 for a family, $3 for a senior citizen or a student and $25 for an organization.