Editor’s Note: This continues our Celebrate Community series on nonprofit organizations that improve North Okaloosa County residents’ quality of life.
CRESTVIEW — Friends of the Crestview Library is more than a group of people who enjoy a good read. These local residents help develop new programs for the library and further existing ones through fundraising.
President Lucy Smith said the group started shortly after the library moved to its current location on Commerce Drive in 2002.
Since its formation, the Friends have aimed to ensure the Crestview library secures funding from the city and raises funds for items excluded in its annual budget. They have also worked to promote library events, resources and programs.
The Friends have achieved success in meeting those goals in various ways, Smith said.
Some of the group’s accomplishments include purchasing computers, providing a security system, buying display cases and gathering funds for a Nintendo Wii system.
The Friends go beyond fund donations and monetary purchases, however. They also host semi-annual book sales, student poetry contests, open-microphone performances and commission displayed artwork.
Smith said the mission is to not only improve the library but also engage and assist the community. For example, she said the public could use the library’s computers to apply for jobs or complete schoolwork.
The Friends’ main fundraising tool has been a semi-annual book sale held each April and October. However, this April’s sale will be the last hosted by the Friends, according to Smith. She said that the group would focus on new ways to increase community involvement.
The new direction the Friends will take hasn’t been decided. Smith said discussions would begin at the group’s January meeting.
Meetings are held 10:30 a.m. on the third Thursday of alternating months (Jan. 19, March 16, May 18, July 20, Sept. 21 and Nov. 16) at the Crestview Library.
Learn more about the Friends at http://www.cityofcrestview.org/178/Library.