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FOL Year in Review 2016

 It has been a year like no other at Columbus Metropolitan Library, and Friends of the Library (FOL) have been a part of every achievement and celebration. In 2016, we saw the rebirth of a transformed Main Library, opened new branches for Northern Lights, Parsons and Shepard, welcomed thousands of librarians from across the world to the IFLA World Library and Information Congress—all the while maintaining thriving programs that support learning and literacy in Central Ohio. Our community values our library and its vital role in our lives. Friends should be proud that their FOL membership supports this treasured community resource, extending its reach and impact.
 
It was a year of milestones for FOL, as well, as the reopening of Main Library reinvigorated some of our most important projects and programs:
 
The Library Store
With the reopening of the renovated Main Library in June 2016, FOL relaunched The Library Store in an open, centrally located space just off of the atrium. Unique merchandise appealing to bookworms and library lovers of all ages includes posters, apparel, and a wide range of unique handmade items as well as a selection of gently used books. Thanks to strong sales from the library community, including our Friends and Fans, The Library Store has exceeded our financial goals for 2016! Profits from the store help fund the many library programs that FOL supports throughout the year. Friends receive a discount on all purchases at The Library Store.
 
Big Book Sale Returns
The much-anticipated Big Book Sale returned in November 2016 with record sales and attendance. More than 10,000 items were sold, including used books for children and teens, fiction, cookbooks, biographies, specialty books, DVDs and library merchandise. Proceeds from the sale enables FOL to support library programs and special initiatives. Friends receive early admission to the Big Book Sale. The 2016 Big Book Sale was such a success FOL plans to hold another sale March 30-April 2, so please mark your calendars!
 
Carnegie Gallery
In partnership with the library and a number of local nonprofit galleries and artists’ cooperatives, FOL sponsors exhibits in the Carnegie Gallery throughout the year. Located in the original Carnegie library building, the gallery is now easily accessible from the second floor as well as the majestic marble staircase at the main entrance. The second Art Unbound exhibit marked the reopening of Main Library in June. This exhibition showcased local artists who transformed library books in disrepair into remarkable works of art. Later in the year, Carnegie Gallery hosted two additional exhibits, OOVAR (Ohio Online Visual Artist Registry, a locally juried art show) and Art and Artists of 614.  FOL funds support Carnegie Gallery exhibitions throughout the year and provide refreshments at an opening reception for each show. Friends are always invited! FOL receives a commission from artwork sold in the Gallery. 
 
Carnegie’s Cafe at Main Library
Coffee, pastries and lunch are once again being offered for sale at Main Library. Carnegie’s Cafe, located off the atrium across from The Library Store, has an expanded menu and a welcoming and spacious seating area. Friends enjoy a 15% discount at the Cafe.
 
PBJ and Jazz Concerts with the Columbus Jazz Arts Group
While these popular concerts never skipped a beat, we were glad to have Main Library open again for the 2016 summer season and to welcome families from storytime, who made their way through the beautiful new library atrium to The Topiary Park. A special concert was part of the community celebration for Main Library’s reopening. Four concerts in June, July, August and September welcomed over 1,500 people for stories, music, dancing and fun.
 
In a year with many new things to celebrate, FOL continued its support for long-standing library programs during 2016:
 
Summer Reading Club
A total of 59,000 children, teens, and adults participated in the 2016 Summer Reading Club. The Club achieved the highest completion rate of 60% for kids aged 5-11 in the program’s history. Reading over the summer is an important way for students to maintain skills, discover the joys of reading for pleasure and become part of a community that values learning. A crowded calendar of special activities kept all participants—and library staff—very busy.
 
Teen Read Week
FOL sponsored Teen Read Week, welcoming Jason Reynolds, an award-winning young adult author. Visiting six of our urban branches and Main Library, Reynolds spoke to nearly 1,100 middle and high school students, sharing his own story of becoming a reader and writer. An inspiring and entertaining speaker, Reynolds challenged his young audience to find their own way to books and learn to tell their own stories.
 
Branch Funding
FOL funds provide each branch with “spending money,” used to enhance library programs, build community outreach, and fund special projects. Whether it’s offering pizza to teens participating in an evening program, supporting a college fair, or sponsoring a Black History Month teens vs. staff contest, FOL funds enable library staff to personalize the library experience for their branch community.
 
In all these ways, Friends of the Library make a difference to your library and your community. We are grateful for your support, and look forward to another year with the Friends and Fans of Columbus Metropolitan Library.
 

FOL IN THE BRANCHES

Shop The Library Store to find unique gifts and support library programs

Serving Main Library visitors and raising funds to support CML programs, The Library Store has long been one of the Friends of the Library’s most important and visible programs. Newly installed in a beautiful space off the atrium, the store has a fresh approach to merchandise as well. To complement the library’s mission, we work with vendors and artisans both locally and from around the world. Through Etsy, we connect with unique small manufacturers, resulting in a great selection you won't find anywhere else in Ohio — everything from fair trade jewelry to artwork and home decor. Never fear: you’ll still find a great selection of used books! The sale of all of our products goes directly back to FOL, providing funds that support library programs and initiatives. 

Interested in receiving updates from The Library Store about new merchandise and special promotions? Be sure to update your e-mail preferences so you don’t miss out.

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GET INVOLVED

Be the first to see what’s for sale: Volunteer at The Big Book Sale

After a highly successful fall sale, the beloved Big Book Sale is back again, and we need your help. The spring sale will be held March 30-April 2, and we’re looking for volunteers to help make it happen. The week before the sale, volunteers set up tables, unpack boxes of books, and organize books into categories. After the doors open, you’ll keep the tables full and help customers as needed.

Get a first look at what’s for sale—and head home with new (old) books of your own. All volunteers receive one free book per shift, though no one leaves the BBS with just one book! It's very simple and really fun work! Learn more from our FAQs...

By volunteering at the Big Book Sale, you’ll be supporting one of FOL’s biggest fund and “friend” raisers of the year. If you're interested in helping, sign-up for a shift or two online or contact Library Store manager Diane Colony at librarystore@columbuslibrary.org.

IN THE GALLERY

Carnegie Gallery showcases art of local artists and collections highlighting special themes and organizations

Carnegie Gallery is a special place for Main Library visitors to see the art of local artists and collections that highlight special themes and organizations in our community. The gallery reopened in 2016 in an expanded space with improved connection to Main Library. Two new walkways link the library collection to the art gallery in a bright, airy manner that allows for natural exploration of the gallery. 

The gallery reopened with the second Art Unbound exhibition. This exhibition showcased local artists who transformed library books that were in disrepair into remarkable works of art. Books used for Art Unbound would otherwise have ended up being recycled.

As 2016 transitioned to 2017, the Carnegie Gallery hosted two additional exhibits, OOVAR (a locally juried art show) and Art and Artists of 614. OOVAR had two prizes, Best In Show and People’s Choice. The People’s Choice Award was a $500 award funded by Friends of the Library (FOL). Art and Artists of 614 is the gallery’s current exhibition through February 2017.  Goodwill Art Studio will bring our next exhibition in March featuring artists with disabilities and their instructors.

Carnegie Gallery plans to install historical items and art to honor Andrew Carnegie’s legacy in one area of the gallery space. Carnegie was a steel magnate who gave his fortune of $60 million dollars to create a system of 1,689 libraries across the country. Columbus Metropolitan Library is one of these Carnegie libraries. Until the Andrew Carnegie collection is gathered, this space will be home to artists whose work is in keeping with the time in which Carnegie lived.

In 2017, exhibits in the Carnegie Gallery will develop connections between the current art exhibition and books within the library‘s collection to promote art and literacy, specifically art literacy. FOL receives commissions from art sales from the gallery. FOL funds proudly support the Carnegie Gallery exhibitions, artists and receptions throughout the year. 

CML IN THE NEWS
In case you missed the latest news about CML, here are links to some stories to keep you up to date.
 
The “Library of the future” here in Columbus now
21st-century library
Kevin Corvo, This Week Community News, January 11, 2017

Important changes to CML operations
Two important changes benefit everyone who uses the library: fines on overdue books have been eliminated, and all branches now have the same schedule.

Columbus library eliminating overdue fines in 2017
Columbus Dispatch, December 1, 2016

Here's why the Columbus Metropolitan Library is ending late fees
Tom Knox, Business First, December 1, 2016

Library introduces Sunday hours at six branches
CMLPress release, January 5, 2017
 
Great Libraries Create projects impact community development
Projects planned in conjunction with Main Library and new Dublin branch
 
Motorists Unveils Development Plan for Surface Lots Near Topiary Park
Brent Warren, Columbus Underground, December 15, 2016

Dublin library: More details and design are revealed
Sarah Sole, This Week News, January 18, 2017

RENDERINGS: New Dublin library designs go before city planners, concerned residents
Evan Weese, Business First, January 27, 2017

Library volunteer profiled
The Good Life: Retiree volunteers her time as a homework helper 
Ken Gordon, The Columbus Dispatch, December 19, 2016
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