Annual Meeting 2017: President’s Report


By Harry Kavros, President, Friends of the Orange County Public Library Board of Directors

When I was six years old my family moved to the edge of civilization. Our house was the last house on the street before the forest. Even in that small town we had a library; it was a one-room basement in the police station. That room was my refuge as a child, where my imagination was engaged, and where I challenged myself to read more and more complicated books. By the time the library moved to its own building, I had moved from the Hardy Boys to what was then difficult reading for me, Jim Kjelgaard’s books about dogs and wolves. Kjelgaard wrote more than forty novels for young readers, and I read several before I moved on.

I’ve moved a dozen times since then, and I’ve never been much farther than walking distance from a library. It might be going a bit far to say that libraries saved my life, but they did save me from boredom, and they invited me to become self-reliant and widely read. I think I share this with you, and it’s one of the reasons why my colleagues and friends on the board have spent some of our time supporting the library in our town.

This year we’ve been able to improve the organization in a few ways: we joined the Chamber of Commerce, we launched ourselves into the twentieth century with the introduction of credit-card purchases at the book sales, we’ve started online book sales, we held a series of author events, we documented a dozen processes and procedures to help future boards, we started member discounts at local businesses, and we added to the membership rolls.

The Friends exist for the sole purpose of supporting library projects. This year we’ve given five grants:

  • help repair flood damage
  • support the library’s strategic planning process
  • give New Hope elementary school students ten books each for summer reading
  • fund the library’s summer learning program
  • purchase adult book club kits

As for our finances, grants totaled $10,100. We raised money with the usual suspects: book sales and membership. We started the year with $43,520 and ended with $45,183.

Finally, we’re always on the lookout for volunteers and board members. If you have a likely candidate, please let us know. If you know someone young enough to keep us updated on social-media venues, drop us a line. If you know a cutting-edge fundraiser, we’ll give you some free books.

This year’s winner of the Janet Flowers Award is Jane Gaede. It is impossible to go to a book sale and not see Jane volunteering. And she’s there even when you don’t see her, when we’re setting up the room and preparing for the sales. Thanks very much, Jane.

Board members for 2018 are: Harry Kavros, Shannon Turlington, Susan Vreeland, Stacey Gamble, James Maxey, and Samantha Bryant. I’d like to thank each of last year’s board members for their energy and spirit. A happy winter solstice and holiday season to all our members.


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Annual Meeting on December 2, 2017

The Friends of the Orange County Public Library will be holding our annual meeting this Saturday, December 2, at 3:00 p.m., in the meeting room of the Main Branch of the Library (in Hillsborough). This will be a short meeting to recognize our achievements for this year, present the Janet Flowers Award, elect Board members, and approve bylaw changes. There will also be socializing and refreshments.

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October Discounts and Events

As an incentive for our members, we are pleased to announce two discounts at local merchants for Friends members only in October.

On Thursday evenings–October 5, 12, and 26–Antonia’s in downtown Hillsborough will offer a 10 percent discount to all diners who present a Friends membership card. And throughout the month, the Hillsborough Wine Company will offer a 15 percent discount on all items except sale items to customers with a Friends membership card. If you have joined or renewed your membership for 2017 but have not received your membership card, contact Susan Vreeland ( Please come out and support these great local businesses all month long.

Also on Friday, October 27, the Friends will host Real-Life Ghost Stories. This special event will be held on the front lawn of the Burwell School Historic Site, 319 N Churton St, Hillsborough, from 7-8 p.m. Local authors, including John Claude Bemis, James Maxey, and Samantha Bryant, will share their true spooky tales, and Gray Rinehart will sing some ghostly tunes. Don’t forget your lawn chair!

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Fall Book Sale Events and Call for Volunteers

Volunteers are needed to work the Friends of the Orange County Public Library Fall Book Sale between September 25 and October 1! We need volunteers to:

  • help set up on Monday and Tuesday
  • sell books on FridaySaturday, and Sunday
  • break down on Sunday evening

If you can volunteer, please sign up by clicking here.

The Friends will host a pre-book sale donation drive in the meeting room of the main branch of the Library on Saturday, September 23There will be food trucks and activities, and we will be accepting your book donations and signing up volunteers. As a reminder, all Friends receive five free books during the book sale when you present your membership card!

We will also be hosting a members-only reception on Thursday, September 285-7:30 p.m. Preview the book sale, socialize with fellow Friends, and take the opportunity to renew your membership if you haven’t already done so.

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The Friends of the Orange County Public Library held our first “Friendraiser” on the evening of August 5. David Terry graciously opened his beautiful historic house and garden for the event, and attendees enjoyed drinks, watermelon, David’s homemade macaroons, and socializing under the trees. Mayor Tom Stevens and Commissioner Kathleen Ferguson attended, along with Library staff and many other members of the community. Kids and adults alike took advantage of the face painter and the Kona Ice truck on site. Through the event, the Friends gained eight new members, several renewals, and some generous donations. The Board would like to thank our gracious host, our wonderful volunteers, and all of the attendees for making this such a memorable event!

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Reminder: “Friendraiser” This Saturday

When: Saturday, August 54-7 p.m.
Where: 117 E. Queen Street, Hillsborough, NC

The “Friendraiser” is our way of sincerely thanking the many volunteers who, over the past years, have given so much of their time and energy in support of the Orange County Public Library. We also hope to share our vision and passion for the Library with the greater Orange County community. The party will be held at the historic Webb House, with complete access to the house and garden. On site will be face painting, beverages, various and wandering local authors, snacks, and the KONA Italian-ice truck.

Entrance to the Friendraiser is free and all are welcome. If you need to renew your membership with the Friends of the Orange County Public Library, we hope you will take this opportunity to do so.

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Little Free Library Opens in Gold Park

On your next visit to Gold Park, check out the books in the “free little library” recently installed along the walking loop. The Orange County Public Library donated books to get the library started, taken from books donated to the library by the community, including members of the Friends. Anyone can take a book to read or leave a book to share at the little library.

For more on Hillsborough’s newest library, read the press release. Or learn more about the Little Free Library project.

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