Friends of the Ne­wark Free Li­brary marks 50 years

Newark Post - - Local News - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­non@ches­pub.com

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Mem­bers of the Friends of the Ne­wark Free Li­brary gather for their an­nual meet­ing ear­lier this month. This marks the group’s 50th year.

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