By Neil Vento
Formed in 1991, the Friends of the Patterson Library aims to promote the welfare and growth of the library, and all of the community, by enriching its resources with their time, talents, and fundraising.
The non-profit meets once a month to sort donated books for their bi-annual book sale fundraiser, the proceeds from which go towards helping the library to fund programs for the community.
“The Friends of the Library has been an invaluable support to the Patterson library,” said Library Branch Supervisor, Xia Thao. “Without them, we wouldn’t be able to have a lot of the programs we provide to the community, especially the children’s programs.”
Current officers for the Patterson Friends of the Library are: President, Susan Guest; Vice President, Marcie Homer; Secretary, Judy Mullins; Treasurer, Sue Henderson and Book Sale Chairperson, Trudy DeGroot.
The group meets on the second Monday of every month except July, August, and December.
Mullins, who joined the non-profit back in 2004, said that she has seen the number of members decline over the years.
“It’s hard to get people to take offices and even to get members lately,” said Mullins. “Everybody has kids, they are in school, or they are working.”
The non-profit has contributed significant upgrades to the Patterson library, and has helped to fund most of its programs, such as last week’s “STEAM Kids” balloon car race, a free scientific learning exercise in which children get to build race cars and experiment with using kinetic energy to power them.
“The balloon car program was a blast, especially the races,” said Thao. “The amount of air in the balloon can affect its speed, so the kids had to carefully consider how much air to put inside the balloon to make their car go fast enough to reach the finish line first. Too much air will slow down the car, but not enough air and the car will not reach the finish line.”
Last year, the Friends purchased an electronic sign for the library that can be seen facing Salado Ave. The sign, according to Thao, has helped members of the community become more aware of the different types of programs that are offered.
“It really catches people’s eyes,” said Thao.
Thao, an honorary member of the Friends, says that she attends the meetings to inform them of everything that is going on with the library and of anything that they may need.
According to Mullins, the Friends have funded the remodeling of the library’s “Teen Area” and have recently worked to preserve and restore the mosaic of rock and glass that was made by the High School class of 1968.
The Friends of the Patterson Library could use new members to help them ensure that the free educational resources and programs that the library offers can continue to connect, and bring the community together.
Memberships to join the Friends of the Patterson Library are $10 a year for an individual, $20 for a family, business, or organization, or $150 for a lifetime membership.
Anyone who wishes to join can come to their next meeting on Monday, September 9, held in the Patterson Library conference room.