Fun Facts about Friends of the Library
Nonprofit, charitable organization, Friends of the Memphis Public Library, was incorporated in May 1962.
Friends are a diverse group of citizens, who help to inform the general public of Library services, raise money, conduct outreach initiatives and serve as an ongoing voice for the Library.
Friends raised over $400,000 last year for numerous special Library needs.
Friends membership is not your Memphis Public Library card.
When you become a Friend of the Library member, you become an advocate for the Library.
Friends raise money for programming at all 18 Memphis Public Library locations by sorting through and selling approximately 175,000 donated items, like gently-used books, CDs, DVDs, magazines and vinyl records.
Friends fund all adult programs at Memphis Public Libraries.
Friends have two large book sales each year in May and October at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, where thousands of books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, vinyl records and other items are sold.
Friends also have 20 – 30 special, year-round sales offering signed books, banned books, mysteries, cookbooks, science fiction and coffee table books.
Friends members enjoy a 10 percent discount the first week of each month in Second Editions Bookstore!
Friends members receive “first viewing” privileges at the preview sale before the Friends’ May and October book sales, in addition to a 10 percent discount on purchases during the sale.
Friends membership can be earned through volunteering for Memphis Public Libraries. (Twenty volunteer hours equals a one-year membership.)
Friends fund two signature events annually: the Memphis-area author’s / community festival Bookstock in April; and BOO-ks with Friends, a safe and fun Halloween event for kids that offers free books and other goodies as treats.
Friends have an online bookstore through Amazon that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our fastest growing revenue stream, this online store offers more than 15,000 books. Click here to visit the store. (Friends sold more than 7,000 books last year through the online bookstore.)
Friends partner with universities and other organizations to offer Memphis Reads.Friends fund NVDA (Nonvisual Desktop Access) for visually-impaired customers.
Friends partner with the Memphis Zoo, local museums, art galleries and other organizations to offer Memphis Public Libraries’ Explore Memphis Summer of Learning Program.
Friends fund continuing education opportunities like conferences, workshops and career advancement programs (i.e. Leadership Memphis) for Library employees.
Friends help to fund Memphis Public Libraries’ annual jazz concert series, Five Fridays of Free Jazz.
Friends provide free books to juvenile court, Shelby County Jail, Wounded Warriors, the Mayor’s Manhood University and many others. (Friends provided 2,000 books for the Mayor’s Manhood University.)
Friends recycle 70 tons of paper, keeping it from the City of Memphis landfill.
Friends provide books for Little Libraries around the city of Memphis.
Friends established MATA’s Books on Buses Program, which offers reading material for bus riders.
Friends fund the Techy Seniors Program, which helps senior citizens to learn how to use an iPad to perform basic operations and access Library services online.
Friends contributed $50,000 for the technology gallery in teen learning lab CLOUD901.
Friends funded the Community Art Academy for kids, offered in collaboration with the University of Memphis.
Friends can help college-bound students with building their resumes through needed volunteer hours. Friends need YOU to volunteer 2 – 3 hours a week. Friends have members who have been volunteering for as long as 40 years!
Friends provide an extra $50 to each Memphis Public Library branch for Friends of the Library Appreciation Week, Halloween and Christmas to help fund these special celebrations.
Friends members can start a Friends of the Library group at their local Memphis Public Library branch to begin advocating and enhancing their Library.