Blount County Friends of the Library members work together to sponsor special events, raise money, and volunteer for a variety of outreach and service programs that help our library and our community. Currently, we have 850 members, including 175 volunteers who donated 16,000 hours over the past year.
The Friends’ fund raising efforts and membership dues provide substantial financial aid to the Library for programs, equipment and logistics not available through County budgeting or Library Foundation capital improvement funding. Because of the generous support of our members and donors, as well as the success of fundraising activities such as the book sales, the Friends of the Library are in sound financial condition.
Used Book Sales
We are exploring new ways to generate income as the popularity of eBooks affects the volume of donated used books and interested buyers for some types of books, such as genre fiction and ephemeral technical books.
Specifically, we are updating our processes and methods by:
- Collecting statistics on used book sales, such as sales volume by genre and factors such as seasonal interest in certain types of books.
- Documenting and improving procedures.
- Exploring new revenue streams, such as our eBay Store (collectible books) and pop-up book sales that tie in with programs or events at the Library.
Friends are welcome to attend our Tuesday Round Table on improving the Book Sale process at 10:15 a.m. at the Library.
Income and Expenditures
Where does the money come from?
Where does the money go?
Project Highlights 2016/17
- We have budgeted funds to purchase an iPad for the eBay team and purchased a computer for the Friends’ office.
- Robotics Programs
- The Friends continue to supply kits and components used in the very popular STEAM and STEM programs for children and teens.
Selected Library Programs and Special Events
- Hot Summer Nights Concert Series
- The Friends donate refreshments and provide volunteers to help with this popular series of August summer musical performances.
- Shakespeare on the Lawn
- BCFOL provides volunteers and financial assistance to help with productions from the Knoxville Shakespeare Stage Company. A much-anticipated July annual event, now moved indoors to the cool air-conditioned library.
- Summer Reading Programs for children, young adults, and adults
- BCFOL provides books, craft supplies, and many other items for both ongoing and Summer reading programs for all ages.
- Comic Convention and Cosplay event for all ages in May.
- Southern Appalachian Studies
- Series of lectures and programs on regional history
- Foothills Voices Project
- This 9-month course, taught by professional authors and librarians, takes amateur writers through the steps necessary to research, write, and publish a piece of creative non-fiction based on true stories of Southern Appalachia. The 2017 Project produced the book, Foothills Voices: Echoes of Southern Appalachia.
The Friends sponsor two volunteer appreciation lunch or brunch events per year. We have over 100 volunteers helping with our community outreach programs, and we are always looking for new volunteers to help!
BCFOL Volunteers provide support to the following programs and more:
- Ex Libris – Community outreach program for local nursing homes
- Books for Soldiers – Packages for our troops overseas
- Books for the Homebound – Outreach program
- Food Connection – Outreach program
- Books for Detention Center facility residents
- Little Free Libraries – Keeping them stocked
- Used Book Sales – Collecting and sorting books, and holding quarterly sales
- Maintaining the Friends eBay (collectible books) store
- Young Adult programs
- Special events, craft times, and summer reading programs for children
- Presenters and special speakers for programs, events, and workshops
- Library tasks – Shelving, plant care, book repair, DVD cleaning, dusting, whatever is needed!
- Musical performances throughout the year
- Courthouse Christmas Tree event
- Blount County Friends of the Library website