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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How our Friends keep us Green (and in the green!)

“...get by with a little help from our Friends”
While the ORL has almost 1,300 “friends” on Facebook, did you know we also have volunteer Friends of the Library? Friends of the Library, or FoL for short, are community-based groups of people who love their library and support it by being ambassadors and raising funds for programming and equipment needs at their branches.
The ORL has 15 FoL groups associated with the following branches: Armstrong, Enderby, Kelowna (which supports the downtown Kelowna, Mission and Rutland branches), Keremeos, Lumby, Naramata, Okanagan Falls, Oliver, Osoyoos, Peachland, Salmon Arm, Summerland, South Shuswap, Vernon, and Westbank. These groups have collectively raised thousands of dollars which go back into the system for wonderful additions that the ORL cannot fund through operations – everything from wall murals in the children’s areas to special microfilm reader/printers used for research to bringing in public speakers – and much more.
So what does this have to do with “green”? The primary way FoL’s raise funds is through book sales. Each year, the ORL withdraws thousands of resources from the collection (126,727 books, CDs, DVDs, etc in 2010 to be exact!). You can liken it to Blockbusters...when a new release comes out, they have to stock many copies, but as the movie’s popularity wanes, they can sell off the extras and only maintain enough for current demand. This way our collection is always fresh and up-to-date while keeping the right “oldies but goodies”.
These withdrawn resources go to FoL groups to sell at great discounts to the public. Then, a person can buy a book for a quarter or a dollar, read it, and donate it back to the FoL group (if it’s still in good condition) and it can be recycled again. Think of the many times each resource can be used vs each individual buying their own copies! This system saves each person huge dollars, saves the planet vast amounts of paper, and contributes back to the library.
So, our ORL Friends keep the library and our communities green (environmentally), while helping the ORL and saving everyone a lot of green (money). If you love your library and want to contribute, joining or starting a FoL is a fabulous volunteer opportunity. For more information on ORL Friends groups or about donating resources, visit .
A shout-out to the Westbank Friends of the Library who are celebrating their 10th anniversary as a group tonight!!! Thanks to you and all the amazing Friends who make such a difference at the ORL!

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