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Friends of the Racine Public Library

Bringing awareness, advocacy, fundraising and volunteerism to the Racine Public Library.
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About the Friends of the Racine Public Library

 

The Friends are an independent nonprofit run by volunteer community members who care about the library. While the Friends are not part of the Racine Public Library itself, they are among its biggest supporters. The Friends promote, fund and volunteer for the library’s mission, resources and programs to keep it growing and teaching, both now and for years to come. They were formed in 1979, incorporated in 2013 and received their 501(c)(3) status in 2014.

What do the Friends of the Racine Public Library do?

 

Raise awareness of the library.

 

The Friends get the word out about the library’s vital resources and services. Just as a couple examples, they might staff outreach events or promote library services and events to their networks.

 

Advocate for the library.

 

The Friends are among the first who take the charge to advocate to leaders and lawmakers for the funding the library needs to serve Racine. Sometimes, they also advocate for issues that affect libraries throughout the state and the country.

 

Raise funds to support the library.

 

The Friends’ funding enables the Racine Public Library to improve and expand on services and programs beyond its regular budget. These funds come from book sales, membership dues, donations from the public and special events.

 

Volunteer for library projects.

 

The Friends also step in to help wherever additional hands are needed. They might table events for the library, donate supplies or help with event set-up and takedown, just as a few examples.

 

Friends of the Racine Public Library Book Sales

 

The Friends’ biggest fundraiser is the sale of donated and withdrawn library books. Their sales also include DVDs, games, toys, puzzles, art and other items. Items sold here come at a generous discount compared to what you would find at other used book sources.

 

Lobby Book Sale

 

Update: On Aug. 17, the lobby book sale will be closed for construction to begin on the new staircase. It will most likely reopen Aug. 18, but we will update this page if anything changes.

 

On the library’s first floor, just to the right of the front desk, the Friends sell books and other items during the library’s open hours. To pay, bring your items and your payment to the library’s front desk.

 

Be sure to check back often! Our main selection changes daily, and our rotating section of especially relevant topics changes every month.

 

Seasonal Book Sales

 

Every spring and winter, the Friends host a major book sale in the library’s first-floor Atrium and Lee Room. These book sales usually run for three days, with the first day being an early access day for members of the Friends only. To pay, bring cash or check to the book sale staff or card to the library’s front desk. Be sure to stop by early — the best items go fast!

A logo in which "Friends of the Racine Public Library" is typed in a circle around an icon of three people reading a book together.

Board of Directors

  • President
    Autumn Latimore
  • Vice President
    Mollie Gamble
  • Secretary
    Kristin Mianecki
  • Treasurer
    Carol Kinsley
  • Members
    Tori Dayton
    Roslyn Kinchen

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How do I become a member of the Friends of the Racine Public Library?

To become a member of the Friends, you just need to choose a membership tier and send in your payment. After that, your membership lasts for a full year!

 

Membership Tiers

 

  • Individual Membership — $10
    The perfect entry for one person to get involved with the library. This pricing covers your invitation to special events, early access days and other benefits offered to members of the Friends.
  • Family Membership — $15
    This membership gives an entire household access to special events, early access days and other benefits offered to members of the Friends.
  • Supporting Memberships — $25
    Includes all of the perks above. This is a great way to give a more meaningful gift to the library.
  • Sponsorship — $100
    Want to support the Friends on a deeper level? Our sponsorships, which start at $100, are a great way to sustain this organization and its work.

How to Get Started

 

There’s a few different ways to start your membership:

  1. Email [email protected] with the membership tier you want to join, and they’ll help you pay digitally.
  2. Pick up a Friends of the Racine Public Library brochure from our website or our lobby book sale for a membership form. After you fill it out, just mail it to or leave it with a library staff member or Friends volunteer.
  3. Bring cash or a check to one of the Friends of the Racine Public Library seasonal book sales or to a library staff member. Checks should be payable to Friends of the Racine Public Library, Inc.
  4. Submit your payment to the Friends of the Library Paypal with a note that it’s for your membership. Their username is [email protected]

Looking for a deeper opportunity? Check out the dropdown below about the Friends of the Racine Public Library board.

What are the benefits of membership?

Your membership raises funds for the library and keeps you among the first to know about opportunities to support the library. Other benefits include:

 

  • Early access to book sales
  • Early information about special events and sales, including discounted prices, through the members-only email list
  • Coupon for two free books from the lobby sale
  • Opportunities to lend your talents in support of your library and community
  • Sustaining and cultivating a vital community resource

Can I volunteer with the Friends of the Racine Public Library?

Yes! The Friends are always looking for new volunteers to join their active team. The Friends relies on volunteer help to:

  • Price and organize donated books
  • Stock books at the lobby book sale
  • Staff the seasonal book sales
  • Assist with library programs
  • Promote the Racine Public Library and the Friends
  • Serve on the Friends’ board

To get started, send the Friends an email at [email protected].

 

Looking for a deeper opportunity? Check out the dropdown below about the Friends of the Racine Public Library board.

What does the Friends of the Racine Public Library board do?

The Friends’ board meets at the library on the second Tuesday of every month, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. In these meetings, the board plans fundraisers, brainstorms promotions for the Friends and the Racine Public Library and sets strategy around advocacy and volunteering. Interested in joining? Email [email protected].

Can I donate to the Friends of the Racine Public Library?

Yes!

 

To donate money, you can mail or bring a check or cash to the Friends of the Library at the Racine Public Library, 75 7th Street, Racine, WI, 53403. You can also send a donation via Paypal to [email protected], or you can email [email protected] for help sending your donation.

 

To donate books or other items, go to our donations page for a list of what you can donate and how.

Accomplishments of the Friends of the Racine Public Library

New and Improved Programs

 

Funding from the Friends has improved and expanded on the library’s programs, including:

  • Summer Reading Programs — Ensures children and teens keep reading and visiting the library all summer long.
  • BONK! — A monthly performance series that features poets, musicians and writers from across the country.
  • Ruff Readers — Reading to people is great, but reading to a therapy dog is a priceless memory.
  • Book clubs for teens
  • Breakfast with the Author events
  • Educational programs for adults
  • Book signings
  • Story times
  • Program materials. Items like Battle of the Books prizes, Books for Babies, Big Read materials, and Innovation Lab supplies often have a grant from the Friends of the Library behind them.

New and Better Services

 

The Friends’ fundraising also helps to expand and improve on the library’s services, including:

  • Program materials. Items like Battle of the Books prizes, Books for Babies, Big Read materials, and Innovation Lab supplies often have a grant from the Friends of the Library behind them.
  • Our subscription to BookPage, a monthly magazine dedicated to curating book recommendations for all types of readers. Patrons can pick up a free copy by the front desk of the library or the staff desk on the second floor.
  • Preservation of Racine by sponsoring the digitalization of the library’s parade films.
  • DearReader.com, an email service for book clubs.
  • Wi-Fi Hotspots for library patrons to check out.
  • Urban literature
  • Preservation of Racine’s oral history by transferring recordings from tape to CD.
  • Library aesthetics and wayfinding to make navigation easier and more enjoyable.
  • Monster books
  • Staff training and recognition
  • Large print books
  • Audiobooks
  • Our gaming collection
  • Microfilm of the Journal Times

Donations to Community Groups

 

When the Friends can’t sell books themselves, sometimes they donate them to others who can put them to good use. In the past, their donations have supported:

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