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Friends Work Behind-The-Scenes Magic At Fairfield Public Library

From left, First Selectman Mike Tetreau, Town Librarian Karen Ronald and Friends' President Margo Kaminsky with a proclamation declaring Oct. 16-22, 2016 Friends of the Fairfield Public Library Week in Fairfield. Photo Credit: Contributed
Board members with author Anna Quindlen, middle, who was the guest speaker at the Friends' annual Literary Luncheon this past May. Photo Credit: Contributed
downUNDER space at Fairfield Woods Branch Library. Photo Credit: Contributed
Friends' member and volunteer Margo Schiff. Photo Credit: Contributed
Summer Reading Program Winner. Photo Credit: Contributed
downUNDER space at Fairfield Woods Branch Library Photo Credit: Contributed

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — The Fairfield Public Library is a comprehensive information hub that serves a large cross-section of the community and that offers up many quality programs, projects, services and materials.

The library maintains its high standard due to two essential factors: a dedicated, hardworking staff and its advocate and companion, the Friends of Fairfield Public Library.

The Friends group is a nonprofit organization committed to enhancing the partnership between the library and the community, as well as advocating for quality library services for all of Fairfield’s residents, according to Danielle Sharp, the Friends' director of development. 

Established in 2003, the Friends group has been a vital partner to the library, helping it expand into the multifaceted, community-focused information resource it is today.

"The Friends of Fairfield Public Library have been from their inception a group who believes in the importance of books/materials and libraries for people of every age," said Nancy Coriaty, deputy town librarian at the Fairfield Public Library. "Through the years, the Friends have supported and encouraged the use of the library as a community learning, recreation, and information center."

The Friends group has organized numerous events to help fund the library's various  programs and services.

"Over the past 13 year, the Friends have provided more than $300,000 to the library to support special programs, services and resources not included in the operating budget, including a commitment to fund the library’s museum pass program with $10,000 a year for 10 years," said Sharp.

The Friends group recently partnered with Talbots in Westport for a shop-for-a-cause event, titled "Share the Fun & Make a Difference" in connection with the #GivingTuesday initiative. A total of 10 percent of the pre-tax sales at the Talbots store was donated to the Friends of Fairfield Public Library.

Additionally, the Friends sponsor the library's One Book One Town program and its Soundwaves Concert Series.

"[The Friends] also manage the Bruce S. Kershner Art Gallery, and oversee the ongoing sale of gently used books, tapes and CD’s in The Twice REaD Room, both at the Main Library," said Sharp.

Some of the physical items recently purchased by the Friends group include a curbside bookdrop; a mountain bike for the summer reading program; laptops, sewing machines, and tables and storage units for the downUNDER space at the Fairfield Woods Branch Library.

The Friends group also hosts yearly luncheons with a popular author, organize mini-golf extravaganzas; and many members volunteer at the library to help with various tasks, said Coriaty.

The Friends organization is made up of passionate individuals who love what they do.

"I love to see smiling patrons attending programs that we have helped to sponsor, and to know that our contributions have helped to make a great library even greater," said Margo Kaminsky, the Friends' president. "The Fairfield Public Library is a very special place, and it truly does have something to offer every resident. I am excited to see how it continues to grow and serve our town in the years to come."

Sharp also shared her thoughts about being a member.

“Friends members have the satisfaction of knowing they are making a contribution to their community by supporting the public library,” she said. “We hear from our members how grateful they are for all that the library does and provides, and there is a sense of pride in knowing that by supporting the Friends, you are supporting the library."

To learn more about the Friends of Fairfield Public Library, click here.

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