Friends of the Newark Free Library marks 50 years
The Friends of the Newark Free Library recently marked its 50th year of service to the library.
The volunteer group has approximately 300 members who help raise money and donate their time to help the library in various ways. Last year, the group raised $6,000 to buy books and DVDs and also purchased a projector for one of the meeting rooms, said Shu-Chien Liang, president of FNFL.
“Every one of us loves books and every one of us loves to read,” Liang said. “We know we’re doing something good for the community and the library.”
FNFL celebrated the milestone earlier this month at its annual meeting, which included a visit from Mae Carter, one of the group’s founding members.
Carter and three other women, nicknamed “The Bookends,” came together in the early 1960s to advocate for a better library.
“They were not very pleased with the library services here,” Liang said. “They decided the best way to get community support was to establish a group like Friends of the Newark Free Library.”
FNFL was chartered March 24, 1966, and began with approximately 100 members.
At the time, the library was located in the former St. Thomas Episcopal Church at the corner of South Main Street and Delaware Avenue. (The building is now owned by the University of Delaware.)
With the urging of FNFL and others in the community, the library began planning an expansion and purchased its current site on Library Avenue in 1969. The new library opened five years later.
Members of the Friends of the Newark Free Library gather for their annual meeting earlier this month. This marks the group’s 50th year.