At the annual meeting of the Friends of the Bethel Public Library, treasurer Mary O'Leary (left) presents a check for $10,000 to Library Board members Jane Bickford, Chair (right) and Tom Addonizio, Treasurer (center). The money is the second major contribution made by the Friends to the Capital Campaign for completion of the library's 2005 addition.
The Pleasures of Museum Hoppin'
Each year the Friends pays for the Culture Passes Program, which provides free or reduced-free passes to museums throughout the area, including the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Barnum Museum, Children's Museum, Connecticut River Museum, Discovery Museum, Earthplace, Neuberger Museum of Art, New Britain Museum of American Art, Norman Rockwell Museum, Peabody Museum of Natural History, Stepping Stones Museum for Children and Beardsley Zoo. The passes can be reserved at the library's Circulation Desk.
Another $10,000 to the Capital Campaign
At its Annual Meeting in January 2010 the Friends presented the Library Board with $10,000 for the Capital Campaign. This was the second major donation to the current campaign made by the Friends, and includes all profits from the Steve Lippia concert held in September 2009.
Celebrating the Centennial
In 2009, the Library's 100th anniversary, the Friends gave the Library a restored, framed copy of a 1915 photograph taken in the Seelye House. Among the women in the photograph is the librarian at that time. The Friends also purchased copies of the adult and children's versions of Dewey, for the Library's Centennial Community Read.
Enriching the Library's Program Schedule
Each year the Friends provides thousands of dollars for programming, paying speaker's fees for a wide variety of children, teen, and adult programs. Norma Chang's course on Chinese cooking; Richard Clark's Mark Twain performance; teen craft programs; children's programs on chess, bats, and cartooning; and so on.
Bodies in the Library
In 2009 the Friends added several series of British mysteries to the library's DVD collection. This built on a similar gift made in 2006 that included DVDs featuring Agatha Christie's Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, Dorothy Sayer's Lord Peter Wimsey, and Sharon Small's Inspector Lynley.
Monkey Ask, We Learn
The Friends purchased a one-year subscription to SurveyMonkey, a tool for creating and publishing on-line surveys that was used by the library staff to conduct a series of Centennial Year surveys among library patrons.
New Bench Graces Shakespeare Garden
In 2007 the Friends purchased a granite bench for the Shakespeare Garden on the Library Place side of the garden. The simple bench was chosen to complement the historic aspect of the plantings. This gift was valued at $400.
Young Abe Gets a Make-Over
Anna Hyatt Huntington's bronze statue of Young Abe Lincoln on Horseback has graced the Library's courtyard for forty years. In 2007 the Friends paid for extensive restoration of the statue. The project involved removal of residual coating, cleaning, removal of corrosion products, patination, and application of a new polyethylene-wax coating.
Local History Project
In 2007 the Friends paid for the rebinding of several of the Library's rare books that are part of the Local History collection. This gift was valued at $500. The organization plans additional contributions in this area, including the replacement of certain items and the purchase of others.
Friends Pledge $10,000 to New Campaign
At its 2007 Annual Meeting the Friends pledged $10,000 to the current Capital Campaign. The pledge is earmarked for furnishings and equipment in the Community Room. (The room was sponsored by the Friends with a gift of $7,500 during the library's first capital campaign.)
Cleaner CDs and DVDs at the Bethel Public Library
Equipment that cleans and greatly extends the life of CDs and DVDs was purchased by the Friends in 2006. The VMI3500 Buffing Unit cleans and repairs scratched disks and makes them useable again. In 2009 the Friends spent over $300 to replace a motor and make other repairs to the machine.
Click here to make a donation to the Library's Capital Campaign.