BRATTLEBORO -- The Friends of Brooks Memorial Library honored its original founding members at the May 22 annual meeting at the Library. Friends' President, Mary Ide, described how in 1990 a group of committed Brattleboro residents got together to form an independent non-profit group called the Friends of Brooks Memorial Library. The mission of the Friends was, and continues to be, to advocate and fundraiser for the Library.
The original community members met in October of 1990 to organize a Steering Committee to create a Friends' of the Library group. These original founders were: Donna Borofsky, Eileen Chalfoun, Ralph Chapman, Pamela Crispe, Christina Gibbons (who was President of the Brooks Library Board of Trustees), Neil Manders, Meris Morrison (Head Librarian of Brooks Library), Julie Peterson and John Wesley.
The Friends By-Laws were adopted in March of 1991 and the first Board was formed. The first Board members were: Donna Borofsky, Eileen Chalfoun, Mary, Carnahan, Paul Carnahan; Christina Gibbons, Marilyn Gustin, Martha Morgan, Meris Morrison, Harvey Pofcher and Jane Swett. The May 22 event also recognized the important work on the Friends Board by Frankie Gibson. Gibson has been member of the Friends Board for close to 20 years. Ide noted that Frankie Gibson has served in many positions on the Board, including Vice President and Treasurer, and contributed time and energy to the organization..
The Friends of the Library has spearheaded support for the Library's purchase of print, non-print and digital materials and subscriptions, the installation of computers and equipment and the funding of special services such as the free passes to regional museums. In addition, the Friends help underwrite the Vermont Humanities Council First Wednesday lecture series and the presentation of programs by, and purchase of materials for, the Children's Room.
As part of their fundraising efforts, the Friends put on three book sales a year, produce concerts and special lectures, offer raffles and auctions and sell the annual Book Lover's Calendar. Membership in the Friends is on a sliding scale basis and includes a quarterly newsletter and reduced ticket prices for Friends events.