PILOT MOUNTAIN — The Charles Stone Memorial Library has faced multiple budget cuts over the past couple years. There has been outspoken community protest over the funding shortages for the much loved library. Now a group of supporters are stepping up to do more than talk.
The group is creating ways to fill the gap in financial needs for the library. The first step is re-establishing the Friends of the Library group. “We had a friends group, but it disbanded several years ago,” said Head Librarian Anna Nichols.
Friends of the Library are major contributors to many libraries across the country, serving both as volunteers and financial backers. “We already have an advocacy board, which speaks on our behalf,” said Nichols, explaining that a larger group is needed that will be more hands-on.
As volunteers the Friends support the staff during regular library hours by shelving books and other duties after they are trained. In addition volunteers assist during special events, registering guests and serving refreshments.
The second function is raising money. Friends groups organize annual book sales, raffles, and other fundraising efforts. The Friends of Charles Stone Library may also participate in an ongoing fundraiser, The Next Chapter Book Shop.
The book shop was started two years ago, however a lack of volunteers to operate the shop has led to inconsistent hours and low rotation on the shelves, according to Nichols. A regular group has now been established, headed up by Debbie Ervin. They are looking for a few more volunteers to commit to at least one day each month and possibly fill-in on occasion.
Another fundraiser in the works is a community yard sale. Scheduled for Oct. 3, the sale will be held in the parking lot and the grounds surrounding the library. Community members may reserve a space for $10. A limited number of table rentals are also available in advance for $5. The community is encouraged to come out to shop in support of the library.
During the yard sale a drawing will take place for a custom made twin bed that is hand carved and shaved from pine trees on donor’s property. It is all natural wood with no finish. Tickets on sale now at the library for $5 each or 6 tickets for $25.
The Friend of the Library group is still in the process of forming. An official first meeting is planned for late October. Interested people may contact the library at 336-368-2370.
Diane Blakemore may be reached at 336-368-2222 or on twitter @PilotReporter.