Library’s Friends seek more buddies during membership drive

By VASHTI HARRIS
Staff Writer

EAST BRUNSWICK– If you have ever attended a class, a program or an event at the East Brunswick Public Library (EBPL), chances are it was made possible thanks to the EBPL’s group of well-wishers.

The Friends of the East Brunswick Public Library is a non-profit organization that has been in existence since the library opened its doors in 1967, according to the organization’s website.

The purpose of the Friends is to foster closer relations between the library and the citizens of East Brunswick; to promote knowledge of the functions and needs of the library; and to lead in the development of a program for the extension and improvement of library services and resources, according to the website.

Residents are welcome to join the Friends or donate anytime throughout the year.

“Although January is the Friends’ membership month, we are happy to accept donations all year long. There are membership envelopes available at many places throughout the library that can be completed and mailed to us or one can go to the EBPL website and click on the Friends link,” said Ellen Cramer, president of the Friends of the Library.

That longtime partnership has resulted in countless additional programs and purchases of equipment, furnishing and materials, both print and online, that enable the library to offer those “extras” that make the difference, according to the website.

“An East Brunswick resident should join the Friends of the Library because many of the ‘extras’ that people come to the library for are paid for by the Friends, such as children and adult programming, the museum pass program, book discussion groups, film festivals, furnishings for the adult quiet reading area and meeting rooms and much more,” Cramer said.

The Friends of the Library is one of the largest such groups in New Jersey, approximately 1,600 members strong, including individuals, families, organizations and businesses, according to the website.

“I have been a resident of East Brunswick for 37 years and the library has always been a big part of my life and the lives of my children and husband. We have supported the Friends since we moved here, both as members and volunteering at the book sale and other Friends events,” Cramer said.

“Once my children were grown I joined the Executive Board of the Friends and increased my time and commitment to this organization because The Friends’ support is instrumental in helping the East Brunswick Library provide a variety of services for all its patrons that make it such a respected and integral part of our community.”

In addition to supporting library programs, the Friends organizes and sponsors special events, such as the Bargain Book and Media Sale; What’s It Worth? Antiques & Collectibles Appraisal; Phyllis Noar Puppetry Festival; as well as defensive driving classes, according to the Friends.

“Our goal is to involve as many members of the community as we can in being part of the Friends of the Library. This can take many forms such as making a monetary donation, helping out with our events, or becoming a member of our executive board,” Cramer said. “People can also support the Friends by attending one of our upcoming events: Handbag Bingo on March 3, What’s It Worth on March 5, the Annual Book Sale during April 24-30 and the Yard Sale on May 6.”

For more information, visit www.ebpl.org/main/friends-of-the-library.cfm or visit the EBPL located at 2 Jean Walling Civic Center Drive.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@gmnews.com.