Make friends with your library

Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 09:13

The guy sitting next to me on the plane made my day. Late 20s, body of a runner, dress of a businessman, team leader of five or six younger professionals seated nearby. Between brief conversations with his team members, he reads a 300-page manual for most of the flight. A half hour before landing, he pulls out a book and starts reading.

“What’s that?” asks his bow-tied, baby-faced colleague leaning across the aisle. The book is handed over.

“The library?” Bow-tie’s tone implies both puzzlement and disbelief as if he can’t believe a cool guy like his supervisor would visit a library, never mind check out a book. I glance over and see the book spine is indeed marked with the library’s signature fiction shelving label. The guy sitting next to me laughs.

“Oh, yeah,” he says. “The library is probably the most incredible, under-utilized public resource there is. The library is great, man!”

Fortunately, there are a lot of people here in Anchorage who would agree with him. Anchorage Public Library would be a much different and inferior place without the support of our friends.

Friends of the Library’s annual fundraisers — Beyond the Stacks and two book sales — raise close to $80,000 for our libraries. About $40,000 of that goes to buy books and DVDs, as well as, items for our virtual shelves like downloadable e-books and audio books. Thanks to Friends, our library offers great Summer Reading programs with prizes, and Live @ the Library concerts, as well as, a number of other programs and services.

This month, Friends of the Library is launching Stock the Stacks, a campaign focused on increasing membership for the non-profit organization. Friends is so excited about National Library Week, April 8-14, that they are celebrating all month long! Join or donate in April and you are eligible for weekly drawings of great prizes all month.

Join and you receive a $5 coupon for the Spring Book Sale on May 5 and 6, plus, as a member, you get early entry into the sale for first look at the merchandise AND get to snack on a marvelous spread of delectable goodies while you shop. Also, all Friends members will be entered in a grand prize drawing for a Nook, which will be drawn during the first two hours of the book sale on May 5. And no, you don’t have to be present to win – but it would be a shame to miss all this fun!

Memberships for Friends of the Library are very reasonable: only $20 for individuals and $40 for families. If you are already a member and want to help the library even more, make a donation to Stock the Shelves. For each $25 raised, the library could get a new book.

Participating in the Stock the Shelves campaign is easy. Go to any of the five Anchorage Public Library locations and look for the Stock the Stacks display. After you fill out the Friends membership form, you will be given a paper spine to personalize and put on the Stock the Stacks bookshelf, plus you get your $5 book sale coupon. Or join online at

Help strengthen our library. By joining Friends, you are helping APL financially, but even more important, you are making a statement of support and showing that you feel the library provides a vital service to our community.

Thanks for your help.


Toni Massari McPherson is the Anchorage Public Library Community Relations Coordinator. For more information about the library and library programs, go to

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