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Getting a lot of help from our 'Friends'

Courier-Times Staff Report

The Friends of the NC-HC Library gathered earlier this month to celebrate 20 years of supporting the local library and its patrons.

Fifty-nine Friends members, Charter members and guests gathered in the New Castle-Henry County Public Library auditorium April 8 for the Friends annual meeting.

Monday, April 8th 59 Members, Charter members, and guests gathered at the New Castle-Henry County Public Library Auditorium to “Celebrate 20 Years of Friends of the NC-HC Library.”

The two-decade journey began June 15, 1998 when former NCHCPL Director Jan Preusz and her Administrative Assistant Helen L. Hay received notice from the State of Indiana that their vision and labor of love, Friends of the New Castle-Henry County Public Library, had become an official Incorporated 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Ten of the original 21 Charter Members and guests were able to attend this year’s annual member meeting. Attending were Christian Miller, Eleanor Painter, Estle Denny, Gloria Corbin (Charter Member and Treasurer since Friends’ inception), Helen L. Hay, Karen Bimber, Lillian Rader, Margaret Jones, Marlena Denny, and Sam Hall.

As each Charter Member present stood for recognition that evening, Friends Secretary Kaye Lindsey and board members presented each Charter Member with a certificate, yellow rose and name-engraved wooden clock, made by Friends member Len Jacquay. 

Charter Members unable to attend were Celestine Bratton, Jan Preusz, Judy Ruback, Teri Aitchison and Violet Cunningham. Deceased Charter Members honored include: Bertha Snell, Beth Bronnenberg, Cora Pope, Marjorie Stamper (Founding President), Olive Ransdell and Dr. William Heilman.

Friends Book Room Co-Chair Joyce Winchester also presented a one-time “Celebrating Friends” Scholarship to NCHCPL staff members Leann Wilson and Austyn Bolander.

Library Director Winnie Logan then took the Friends members down memory lane with “We get by with a LOT of help from our Friends!,” a pictorial history of activities, events, library projects, and programs Friends have supported financially and through volunteer hours over the past 20 years.

Since its creation, Friends of NC-HC Library has raised $275,519.83. Of that total, nearly $195,000 was given directly to the library for programs, improvements and staff support.

Friends of the Library also sponsors the Noteworthy Concert series and other free events for the community.

Book Room Co-Chair Elouise Paine reported Friends volunteered 2,493 hours during 2018 and she invited members to volunteer in the book room to process and sell donated items. Paine also stated more donations are needed including hard back and paperback books, DVD’s, CD’s, audio books, old books in good condition and complete puzzles.

Online Book Sale Chair Judy Jacquay completed her first year selling online books through the Friends online site with $3,920.53 total sales. The online purchases go through eBay.com, but are not part of the traditional auction site. For specific instruction on browsing the online offerings, email Friends at nchclibraryfriends@gmail.com.

Election of Board Members and Officers for 2019-2020 results: President, Christy Tompkins; Vice-President, Beverly Potts; Secretary, Kaye Lindsey; Treasurer, Gloria Corbin. Karen Trissler was newly elected to the Friends board. Dennis Hamilton’s two-year term expires June 30. The Board will miss him and is grateful for his continuing volunteer assistance.

Prior to adjourning the annual member meeting, President Christy Tompkins led everyone in a moment of silence in memory of Friends of the NC-HC Library Past President and Gift Shop Chair Beverly Hankenhoff, who died March 24, 2019.

Friends are selling “We love our Library” yard signs at library’s Main Circulation desk for $10 each while supply lasts. April 7-13 is National Library Week. Patrons are encouraged to post the sign in their yard all month long to support the New Castle library.

Kroger shoppers can support Friends of the NC-HC Library by linking their Kroger Plus Card to the group’s ID number (FR730). Sign up at Kroger.com.

Peter Fletcher is the next Noteworthy Concert performer at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 25 in the auditorium.