Sterling HeightsAugust 21, 2013
Library Friends mark $1 million in fundraising
By Eric Czarnik
Toni Pace, of Sterling Heights, looks at a book. Pace has been a volunteer at the library’s bookstore for more than nine years.
The Sterling Heights Public Library is thanking a local volunteer group for helping it swim upstream against the trend of service reductions that some other libraries have faced throughout the nation.
The Friends of the Sterling Heights Public Library celebrated a fundraising milestone Aug. 6 by donating more than $1 million in aid over their history, which spans more than three decades. The Friends crossed the milestone by donating $1,000 toward a fish aquarium in the library’s Youth Services Department.
Library Director Tammy Turgeon thanked the Friends for their dedication in taking the library to the next level.
“We are a tax-funded entity, so the majority of everything is paid for by the city,” she said. “The Friends help to supplement everything that we do. Without the Friends, our collections (of library materials) would be much smaller. We’d have fewer services.”
According to Turgeon, the fish tank has now been installed, and the public reaction has been thrilled to the gills.
“Right now, we just have five local fish,” she said. “We’ll be adding fish as we go with donations from the public.”
The Friends’ contribution toward an aquarium is only the latest of their many achievements in making the library more hospitable to users. Accomplishments include an annual license to screen movies, new furniture, youth programs and more books.
Friends of the Library President Kathy Mohnach said the group is mostly made up of people who love the library and see it as a major city resource.
Mohnach said the Friends were first formed in 1976, making the club older than the current library building, which was built in 1979. She said the Friends are continuing to help fund programs and better the library, including visuals and art like the Children’s Art Garden outside the library.
“They also help to add to the collection in the library — the fiction books, the e-books or the DVDs,” she added.
Although the Friends do periodic fundraisers, such as selling water at Sterlingfest, much of the Friends’ revenue is generated at the volunteer-run library bookstore.
But despite the Friends’ recent milestone, the library says the group has not reached its fundraising goals this year. Mohnach asked residents who wish to get rid of old books or DVDs to give them to the Friends so they can sell them, and in turn, benefit the library.
“Sales have been a little slow at the bookstore,” she explained. “We have to have the books donated to sell them.”
Learn more about the Sterling Heights Public Library, 40255 Dodge Park Road, and the Friends of the Library at www.shpl.net or by calling (586) 446-2665.