Friends of the Library Week kicks off events

The Jackson County Public Library will spend the upcoming week celebrating its Friends of the Jackson County Public Library group as part of the 12th annual celebration of National Friends of the Library Week, which started Sunday and runs through Saturday.

The group was formed in 1977 to support the Seymour Public Library. The organizing officers were Wayne Proell, temporary chairman; Carol Wait, secretary; and members of the bylaws committee: Herbert Montgomery, Mr. & Mrs. William Schmitt, Betty Elsner, Judy Michael, Marita Douglas and Leora Topie.

Current officers are January Rutherford, president; Teddi Ashcraft, vice president; Billie Richardson, secretary; and Sandi Hall, treasurer. Jim Daily, Joyce Fouts, Linda Jacobsen, Karen March, Jami Mathis and Ann Schwein are board members.

Today, the Jackson County Public Library provides free library services to area residents. While public funding covers the costs of salaries for professional staff, utilities and other operational costs, the library often looks to private sources of funding for a portion of the budget each year.

The bulk of that annual private funding comes from Friends of the Jackson County Public Library through its book sales and special events, such as the Oktoberfest parking lot.

In 2017, the group has donated more than $7,000 to provide special programming, such as the summer reading program prizes, programs and kickoff; adult program speakers; Seymour Rotary’s “I Like Me” books; library staff development; seasonal window painting at the Seymour Library; and more.

Friends of the Jackson County Public Library is always looking for more volunteers to help support the library. Some current opportunities include:

  • Bimonthly book sale: Setup begins on the morning of Nov. 2. Volunteers, especially those who can lift boxes of books, are needed to arrange the books on tables by subject. The sale opens with a preview for Friends members from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 2 and from 9:30 to 10 a.m. Nov. 3. The sale is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Ongoing sales: Donations come in daily and have to be processed. The Seymour Library Book Nook shelves are stocked weekly to ensure a good selection. Occasional boxes of books also are sent to the Crothersville and Medora libraries for their sales carts. To volunteer to help with these flexible activities, contact Ashcraft at [email protected] or Rutherford at [email protected].

Even if you can’t volunteer for one of the events mentioned, you can help by becoming a member of the Friends of the Jackson County Public Library.

Applications are available at the checkout desk at the Seymour, Crothersville or Medora libraries, online at or by mailing your tax-deductible membership fee to Friends of the Jackson County Public Library, 303 W. Second St., Seymour, IN 47274.

Membership categories are member, $5; family, $10; patron, $25; benefactor, $50; or any amount you wish to contribute.