Most of you know how involved I've been with the Friends of the Library here. So involved that I received the 2008 Connecticut's Individual Achievement award for a Friend of a Library. It was truly very nice to get a nod at the State level of the work I have put in. Remember I didn't do it for the award but for the love of a great institution - our public library. But then there are those days and today was one of them.
At our place - the Friends are separate from the Trustees, at times, it seems the Friends don't even exist. The Friends are an amazing group of individuals - I always try to do them justice on how well they work to raise $$'s for the Library. I'm out pounding the soap box, sidewalks, bending anyone ear to talk about supporting our Library. Some times I feel I couldn't say Thank You enough - two little words - yet it just never seems enough.
Tonight was the annual meeting of the Library / Trustees. Now since the Friends are just about invisible, and I mean that I only noticed three of a twenty member board present at this meeting. That pisses me off - another day for that. Tonight was their "unveiling" of their Legacy Society plaque - a long awaited and overdue thank you. They 'honored' various people that have given the Library big $$'s in the past. It was interesting - you could belong to various clubs, assoc, circles, councils and what have you - it makes your head spin - and there are $$ amounts attached to them, those facts were missing. When it was done - not !- the one donor that didn't appear on their plaque was the Friends of the Library. I went back into my board books (retired from the board Feb 2008) and financials and added up what we spent on the Library - in the last eleven years - we, the Friends of the Library, through membership and book sales and assorted other events - put $411,000+ into the Library. That doesn't even count the tens of thousands of hours of labor contributed!
In the past year alone = over $60K was given to the Library to support materials, programs, and staff.
Now this plaque will be mounted in the foyer of the Library for all to see how these individuals have made a difference to the Library. Don't take me wrong, these folks were generous and remembered to give to the Library. But the Friends of the Library - some 1000 plus members - don't get the nod - don't get a spot on the plaque? It is truly a sad day for the Friends, and an even more sad day for the Library. They just don't get it :(