President’s Column: 2010 Activities

The Friends’ Board for 2011, with Elizabeth Ritman, President.

The Friends had a busy year in 2010 with ongoing and new activities. Thanks to the generous
donation of many thousands of books by the Rochester community, the Library was able to add
or replace 10,593 items in their collection for an estimated value of $250,684. The Friends of Rochester
Pubic Library sorted all of the contributed materials to permit the selection of these items for the
current RPL collection.
Not only were the Friends responsible for regular bookstore sales of other selected items throughout
the year, but we staffed and managed five large auditorium book sales including Rochsterfest and
Winterfest and multiple other special sales.
Our bookstore profits check for 2009 given in January 2010 was $50,000. In addition, the Friends
made another pledged cash contribution of $25,901 to pay for specific requested library projects,
plus special requests of $4,000 during the year, for a total value of $330,581. Our 2010 pledge of $15,000 for a self-check machine is carrying over to 2011.
The Friends:
–Volunteered for the Minnesota Library Association meeting in Rochester, where we won the
MLA “Best Friends Project” Evy Nordley Award, including $1,500 for “The Threads of Our Community”
quilt project. We hosted a celebration of the quilt unveiling for the artists and families.
— Helped with the RACE exhibit.
–Participated at the August ARTIgras event at Mayo Park with a booth that gave us visibility.
–Won a $1,500 prize from the Unique Management Services survey drawing. The money was
donated toward purchase of a Mac Pro laptop computer and software to enable the Library
staff to improve their online communications and video projects.
–Donated money to buy six new tables for the children’s area and $1,565 to pay for the electrical
work needed in replacing the computers in the Children’s area of the Library.
–Donated $400.00 toward purchasing a Cricut Cutter Machine for the Children’s Department.
–Bought new carts and tables for the book store and book sorting area.
–Sold books online, which has enhanced our ability to pledge more money to the Library.
–Backed the Library sponsored Rochester Reads event, Summer Children’s programs, Library programming, databases and software, materials and training with $25,901.
–Provided volunteers and refreshments for the History Hullabaloo in January 2011, sponsored by the
Minnesota Historical Society to aid students with their research for History Day projects.
–Increased our visibility through the Internet and social networking. In addition to the Library’s
website, we have a bookstore blog and are on Facebook and Twitter.

Projects we are continuing are: Read With Me (books for the young child), mailing books to the military in
various areas of the world, donating books to Channel One, recycling of printer cartridges, paying for a parking space for volunteers in the ramp next to the Library, and providing a Library staff appreciation
A big “Thank You” to our members, who donate so much time to the Library, as well as dues for membership. You make all of the above possible.
Shirley Edmonson, Friends Past President (2010)

New Arrivals

healthy ideas for spring in our new display

The Friends Bookstore has had great new arrivals in books (fiction and non-fiction), craft pamphlets and cds/vhs tapes! Now is a good time to stock up on reading material, especially as it is too early to get out into the yard!

We also have an excellent selection of new magazines all priced at 50cents – unbeatable!

Libraries Change Lives – Bookstore Volunteer

Paige Turner and Madison Wurth
Sue McMillian was my Confirmation sponsor and as my sponsor she was helping me come up with ideas for community service projects. Since she volunteered at the Friends Bookstore she asked me if I would like to do one of my projects at the Winter Book sale in the auditorium. I had a lot of fun volunteering that day, partially because I was surrounded by books, but I have to admit the cookies were an important part too. I met Gail Harris that day and she had me fill out a volunteer form. That summer in 2009, when Sue was scheduled in the store I went with her. The bookstore and I, you could say, fell in love with each other because I have not left yet.
    I have always liked reading books and that is why I have spent so much time at the library and the bookstore. I think libraries are misunderstood by so many people, mainly teenagers, these days because when they think of libraries they associate it with school and studying but they are so much more than that. Yes, the library is useful for school but it is also a place where you can go somewhere else entirely just by sitting down and reading. It is also a place for people to go if they need to get away from their daily lives and read the newspaper, pick up their favorite magazine, find a movie to enjoy with their families on a Friday night, or just to take one of the many, useful classes that happen at the library. One of my favorite memories from the library before I started in the bookstore, was the photography class I took when I was in middle school. I still have the pictures from that class and still have an interest in photography due to the fun I had taking that class.
    Everyone I have met that works or volunteers at the library, is always willing to help you with whatever you might need and is always good for conversation or some funny story. Those people are part of the reason I keep going to the library because they always make it entertaining. They are also full of good ideas on how to improve the library or create something to help other people. The many things the library offers, like the homework help, different book groups, movie nights, story times for children, and the activities that are offered for the whole family are reasons that make our library special. I think any place that is open for anyone at any age, is a good thing. I encourage other people to go to the Library as well as volunteer.
    On most Sundays and a couple Saturdays, I volunteer in the bookstore. I enjoy going every week because I never know exactly what I will be doing until I get there. There was one week I got to the bookstore and there was a message on the phone. This lady said that her husband had donated some special books of hers and she did not know until after he had donated them and she wanted them back if that was possible. I called her back and got information on what the books looked like and began searching for them. It was not until a couple hours after searching for them that I called her back and told her I had no luck. As I was talking to her I realized that the area code was not in Minnesota and asked where she was calling from. She was from Rochester Hills, Michigan and had called the wrong library. That is just one of the many entertaining things and I never know if I will find something that they didn’t even know they wanted.  I like how I can count on a few customers to come in every Sunday and now I know their names. I have had customers bring me in pictures of their wedding or a graduation because they know I will be there. I also like when whoever I am working with asks me to take books out of their hands if they try to buy anything because even though one book may not cost much, if you’re in there for three hours you could walk out with no money.
    One of my other favorite parts of working in the store is the wide-variety of people that come in. I have seen people from New Jersey, Colorado and New York because they are here visiting Mayo Clinic. There are also the people that only come in every couple of months when they visit family but make sure that they stop in the store before they leave town. There was one man I met a couple of months ago who said he was in town visiting his family and had been out shopping with his wife all day. She had asked him to drop her off at home before he came into the store because he takes too long when he is here. He just laughed like it was not true but by the time he left I would say a good fifteen other customers had already been through the entire store and left. People like him who love books is why I enjoy volunteering in the store each week.
After I graduate from high school and start college, I plan to arrange my schedule so I will still be able to volunteer because it is something I look forward to during my week and also gives me a good excuse to go to the library!

Suitcase Science

Check out the Library Website for additional information – there are three classes to chose from*!

*Saturday, April 9 2:00, 3:00, & 4:00 pm
Presented by the Science Museum Of Minnesota

*In great theatre, meet the Object Whisperer and hear the science story behind peoples stuff. Every item you touch speaks and if you listen closely, you’ll hear a story of science. Suitcase Science is a community-inspired theatre piece and exhibit that highlights many scientific disciplines: anthropology, geology, chemistry, sociology, and more!

This is a project funded with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

Library Expansion – Will it Happen?

By Audrey Betcher, Library Director
The library expansion was included in the list of projects slated for the sales tax extension. The list of projects was approved by the Rochester City Council in December. We are very excited to be included!
Before library expansion can take place, the sales tax extension needs to get approval from two more
entities: the state legislature and the voters of Rochester.
Rochester has had a local sales tax since 1983. It has been of great value to Rochester, Olmsted
County, and the State of Minnesota. Past projects included: flood control, local costs for Highway 52
and for other major City and County Arterial Road projects, and funding for Higher Education Facilities
at RCTC and the University of Minnesota – Rochester.
In 2010 the City had an extensive public process to identify projects for the sales tax extension. The library
presentation was one of many that the citizen committee heard. The City is asking the state legislature to allow the Rochester citizens to have a referendum to extend the current half cent sales tax.
If the state legislature approves the referendum, then the citizens of Rochester will vote on whether
they want to extend the sales tax. Only if both are approved will the library expansion take place.
If the expansion takes place, here are our preliminary expectations:
The third floor of the library would be completed and a fourth floor would be added above the rectangular
portion of the library. The total addition on both floors would be approximately 30,000 square feet. (The current building is 85,470 square feet.)
The entire amount the library requested was not approved. We don’t know yet exactly what that means for the library expansion, but we expect some of the space to be shelled in to be completed at a later date.
I know nothing is certain as the sales tax extension moves forward through its processes, but I am very jazzed to think about the possibilities of how we can better serve the public through a better space.

Visiting Author Series – Kent Nerburn

 Kent Nerburn has enjoyed a multi-faceted career.  As a sculptor, his work has been frequently exhibited in his native Minnesota.  As an author, his writings reflect his training in theology and his long association with Native Americans. He as been awarded the Minnesota Book Award twice, and is also a widely published art critic and longtime educator.

Tomorrow: Sunday, March 20 – 2:00 pm in the auditorium

Find Kent Nerburn online

This program was funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota’s Arts and cultural Heritage Fund.

Spring Wine Fundraiser

Don’t forget that we still have the Literary Wine selection at Andy’s! There are displays in three locations at Crossroads, the NE and the Marketplace stores. We have some great new labels and are designing a few more for summer. There are even case discounts.
They are still great gift ideas especially paired with a good book. We have the Friends’ Book Sale coming up April 2,3rd in the Library Auditorium, as well as our Friends’ Bookstore Second Saturday Sales each month. AND remember that the Friends’s Bookstore is always full of nearly new and wonderul used books. We have expanded hours and have recently added a debit/credit card reader for “plastic purchases”!
For the very thrifty, a reminder that Andy’s will also be having their own special of “paying the tax” in April (13-15)! 
A portion of the wine proceeds will go to the Rochester Public Library Foundation.