Mission: The Friends of the Augusta County Library (The Friends) advocates for and raises funds to support the Augusta County Library. They envision a superior public library system with adequate resources and facilities to anticipate and respond to the changing needs of the Augusta County community.
Community Need: For the 74,000 residents of Augusta County plus citizens of the neighboring cities of Staunton and Waynesboro, the library may be their only option for particular resources. The Friends are dedicated to supporting the following resources and more:
Technology– The library offers free computer and internet services to a rural area that may not otherwise have access to it. For example, 10% of the population of Augusta County (roughly 7,400 individuals) does not have internet service, and many choose to utilize it at the library for homework projects, resume creations, job applications and more. (Source: Augusta County, VA Community Broadband Telecommunications Strategic Plan Survey Results).
Early literacy– The Friends of the Augusta County Library also supports the library’s early literacy programming. This includes both Summer and Winter Reading Programs, passive reading programs, STEM/STEAM education, 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, and Read & Feed, which reaches out to underserved and at-risk children. In an area where 14% of the population (around 10,360 individuals) ages 10 and up cannot read, library programming is invaluable.
Constituents Served: Their sole mission is to support the Augusta County Library, which serves the general public in both Augusta County and all of Virginia. In their previous fiscal year, over 30,000 reference questions were asked, and patrons checked out around 400,000 items (52% adult materials and 48% children’s materials). Around 29% of Augusta County residents have library cards, which allows them to serve more than 22,000 individuals in the following ages: 18 and under (5,658); 19-29 (3,576); 30-39 (2,727); 40-49 (2,686); 50-59 (2,522); 60 and older (3,761); and no DOB entered (1,093).
Primary Activities: The Primary Activities of The Friends are to:
- Support literacy programs for children, including weekly story times, summer reading programs, STEAM programs, and Puppet Pandemonium.
- Provide copiers, printers and fax machines for public use in all library locations.
- Purchase materials for craft activities, lectures and exhibits for adult audiences.
- Support training opportunities for staff including memberships to professional organizations, conference registrations, and guest trainers for staff day.
- Maintain garden and reading spaces at all library locations.
- Recognize and thank the Library’s dedicated staff by providing an annual luncheon on National Library Workers Day.
- Recycle donations of books as well as items withdrawn from the Library’s collection through a book sale, providing public access to inexpensive books and generating income.
Amount Requested: $10,000
Operating Budget: $28,510