National Friends of Libraries Week

Filed under: Local News |

Racine, WI – During the week of October 15-21, 2017 the Racine Public Library will be recognizing its Friends of the Library group as part of the 12th annual celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week, sponsored by the American Library Association.

The Friends of the Racine Public Library, established in 1979 and incorporated in 2013, received its 502(c)(3) status in 2014. To date it has raised over $250,000 for the Library. Currently over 350 community members contribute annually to the Friends, and about 50 of these contributors actively volunteer their time to assist the group with fundraising efforts that include a used book sale held twice each year.

Led by a volunteer board, the Friends of the Library is a group of local citizens who care about the Racine Public Library and the community it serves. The Friends’ mission is to promote and support public resources and community programs at the Library.

Friends members help the community raise funds for the Library and promote awareness of vital library services. The Friends also advocates for adequate library funding at the local, state, and national levels. The Friends raises funds through the on-going lobby book sale, memberships, special events, donations, and the biannual book sales.

“Public libraries are being asked to provide new services and resources, such as ebooks and assisting patrons with new advances in digital technology, while also maintaining a commitment to fulfilling more traditional roles—all at a time when tax dollars are increasingly difficult to obtain,” notes Jill Hartmann, President of the Friends of the Library.

Ms. Hartmann added, “The contributions of the Friends of the Racine Public Library help the Library meet the challenge of providing the services and resources to meet the needs of the community. The Friends expands the Library’s capacity through financial support, programming and advocacy.”

The Friends also provides volunteer opportunities for residents who value the Library and seek to support its vital role in the community.

Other officers of the organization are Don Cress, Vice President, Jill Hartmann, Treasurer, and Kristin Gibson, Secretary.

“Our library would be much poorer without the Friends,” said Library Director Jessica MacPhail. “The funds the Friends group raises definitely make a difference in the array of programs and services that we can provide our community. I think most patrons would be surprised to learn how many of the programs and services they enjoy are supported by the Friends.”

Please visit contact the library at 262-636-9170 or visit to learn more about the Friends’ activities, and to find out how to become a member of the Friends.

National Friends of Libraries Week is coordinated by United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information, visit