Year In Review – Remarks from the President

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Remarks from the President (Kevin Yezbick)
Annual Membership Meeting
Saturday, June 18, 2011

Annual Recap

It has been an interesting year for the library and for the Friends. Over the course of the past year we have striven to become and remain a learning organization. It is my hope that over the course of the next year we will also continue to be a growing organization.

I’d like to touch upon some of the highlights of the past year before we get to the voting.
• A successful Sneak Peek event and Grand Opening began the year, where we first saw the promise and potential of the renovated library space. This was a carefully orchestrated event that was really put together before I became a member of the Friends – and many people deserve recognition for the work they did. Melissa Wilson and Beth O’Connor worked hard to put together an evening that really helped get this organization rolling on a new head of momentum. From there it was off and running to the Grand Opening, and we can now appreciate the space we have around us, this beautiful building.
• Our by-laws require four meetings throughout the year – the board met 8 times.
• We also had various people working on different library committees. Financial / Fundraising, Director Search Committee, Building committee.
• We saw changeover in the library board – with a good friend Darlene Johnson-Bignotti stepping in to assist.
• I’ve tried to make our organization as open as possible – meeting minutes are posted to the Friends website as they are submitted and approved. All are welcome to attend the board meetings – which are also posted to the calendar as they are scheduled. The calendar is also available on the website. Many library events and calls for volunteers are posted there as well.
We also maintain a presence on Facebook and send out the occasional tweet @ferndalefriends.

Programming – James Hanks & Darlene Hellenberg
Friends members both volunteered to help and the organization also sponsored many successful Library Programs:

For Ferndale Reads – Friends supplied funding to help distribute 400 copies of The Book of Lost Things to the Ferndale Community. This was followed by a visit from the author, as well as several other programs tied into the theme of the book.

The Summer Reading Program, including the prizes and books for kids who participate, has been sponsored by the Friends of the Ferndale Library.

There are currently two Friends Book Clubs – including the Science Fiction book club, that are coordinated by members of the Friends of the Ferndale Library.
Off the Grid Crafts

You may also notice the Friends Logo on the BookPages newsletter. The Friends are sponsoring this valuable and informative subscription.

Bookstore – Don DeCenzo & Jeannie Davis
Our bookstore continuously met their goal of being open and staffed at least 50% of the hours the library was open. Now purchases can be made at all hours of the day. I am pleased to report that through the efforts of our volunteers and guidance of the bookstore committee co-chairs, we have raised over $2,300 through May to directly support the Ferndale Public Library’s mission.

We have witnessed successful booksales at both the DIY fest ($152 on Saturday) and the Trunk and Treasure sales. When the bookstore launched, it was raising about $50 a week – and I’d say we’re pretty close to doubling that amount now.

I’d like to extend my thanks and deserved recognition to both Don DeCenzo and Jeannie Davis for their incredible work over the course of the past year.

I must mention that we can always use more volunteers to work in the bookstore. Sorting and staffing are the biggest needs, as well as staffing for future booksales. Interested parties can always contact us at

Membership and the bookstore are our two main sources of revenue. We’ve looked to grant opportunities and we do receive the occasional donation – but these are two of our organizations most important foundations.

Membership – Kelly Farrah
We currently stand at over 115 memberships. Hopefully in the year ahead we can retain these memberships and build upon them.

We are interested in your feedback concerning the membership dues. We’ve addressed this in our past meetings – but would like to reach out for your opinions. One path we have discussed is expanding our tiered membership. We are looking at the possible addition of business memberships. We’d like to know how fair our membership dues are – in your opinion. I’d be happy to hear from each of you in regards to this.

Volunteering Opportunities
As mentioned above, we are always welcome to those interested in volunteering their time to assist both the Friends and the Library. Some of the events that have seen volunteers over the year include:
• First Fridays – staffing refreshments, set-up breakdown
• Summer Reading Program sign up
• Other Library programs as the requests come in.
• Bookstore
• Various committees throughout the year.

We will be working in conjunction with the new director and Library to streamline the volunteering process in the coming months. For now – you can contact us at to express interest.

It has been a learning experience for me and a privilege to serve as your president over the course of the past year. I’m still very much looking forward to participating in the Friends organization in the coming year and am excited about the Library’s future and our new incoming director. We should expect that announcement very soon, and I think the hard work that the Director Search committee put into the process will pay off handsomely. Thank you all for your participation in our organization and for your continued support of the Ferndale Public Library. Some of you may know that I’m a librarian myself, and I can say without hesitation that there are many, many things about our community and our library that I am both jealous of professionally and proud of personally. This library has a wonderful staff and board who genuinely care about the services they provide and the community they live in – and we owe them our gratitude for what they’ve been through in the past year. I can tell you how much it means when someone makes a point to say thank you to me in my working day – and our staff here at the Ferndale Public Library will definitely appreciate it as well. With that, I’d like to turn it over to our Vice-President, Kevin Deegan-Krause – who will move us along…Thank you all for coming, and we’ll try to get you out of here and into the sun real soon.