National Friends of Libraries Week begins Monday

The Jackson County Public Library will spend next week celebrating its Friends of the Library group as part of the 17th annual celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week.

The Friends of the Library 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. and Mrs. William Schmitt, Betty Elsner, Judy Michael, Marita Douglas and Leora Topie.

Current officers are President January Rutherford, Vice President Diane Kemling, Secretary Lori McDonald and Treasurer Sandi Hall. Joyce Fouts and Sabrina McKillip 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.

Library Director Julia Aker said the bulk of that annual private funding comes from the Friends of the Library through its book sales and special events, such as the Oktoberfest parking lot. In 2022, the Friends group has donated almost $5,000 to provide special programming, such as adult program speakers, build-a-bear programs, early literacy carts in Crothersville and Medora, seasonal window painting at the Seymour Library and more.

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

Every other month book sale — Setup begins on the afternoon of Nov. 3, and 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. 4 and from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Nov. 5. The sale is open to the public from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 5.

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 Rutherford at [email protected].

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

Applications are available at the checkout desks at the Seymour, Crothersville and Medora libraries, online at or by mailing the 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.