Friends of South County Regional Library Inc. is a community-based, volunteer organization founded in 2004 and is tax exempt under Section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Our vision is to advance the role of South County Regional Library as an institution vital to the life of the community. In line with this, our mission is to raise awareness of South County Regional Library as a cultural and educational asset in the community by enhancing programming and services through development of supplemental financial resources.
Left to Right: Dorothea Meldner, Gretchen Schmidt, Sandy VandenBossche, Anne Burns, Pricilla Lavertu, Linda Scalley, Joanne Vicidomini, Steve Shandor, Karen Katz, Kay Howard, Ann Thomas
(not pictured: Pat Hamilton)
Our Friends group currently has 240 members and conducts a variety of fundraising activities in support of our mission. These include two large book sales each year and our continuous in-house First Dibs book sale of hard cover and paperback books, CDs, DVDs as well as puzzles. We hold two Meet the Author luncheons at a local venue with well-known authors and we continue to sell our distinctive chartreuse Friends Book Bags.
South County Regional Library is a 32,600 square foot facility located in Estero. The Library was established in August of 1996 and serves south Fort Myers, San Carlos, Estero, and Bonita Springs. There is a smaller branch library in Bonita also. Circulation at South County Regional Library in 2011 was 606,293 items with 29,495 registered users. There is a large cadre of seasonal visitors who patronize this library extensively, especially for access to the internet, book discussion groups, computer classes, and many other programs available at the Library.
Through April 2012, our Friends group has raised over $150,000 primarily from the sale of gently used books. They have donated over $134,000 in goods and services to the Library by sponsoring a large number of library programs and concerts yearly, purchasing furniture and other enhancements including a sound system valued at $23,000 and 100 new chairs and 20 state-of-the-art tables for the large meeting room.
The Friends of South County Regional Library have received the following awards:
• Florida Library Association Newsletter of the Year for three years in a row in 2007, 2008 & 2009
• Florida Library Association Honorable Mention for the Book Sale Project in 2008
• Friends of Libraries USA (ALTAFF) Newsletter of the Year in 2008
• Florida Library Association Website of the Year in 2009
Our Shared Values
- To appreciate and recognize the efforts of our members.
- To present ourselves in a positive and professional manner to the community through excellent quality programs, projects and public relations.
- To be vigorous in striving for supplemental monetary support for the Library through memberships, gifts, grants, bequests and other fundraising efforts.
- To promote, through diligent advocacy, the purpose and needs of the Library to the community and government leaders.