Article by Tammy Moore-Teague
Brenda Yancey Chamness began serving as President of the organization We Are Friends of the Sebastian County Public Library last summer. “The purpose of this organization,” Chamness stated, “shall be to maintain an organization of citizens who are interested in libraries; to focus attention on library services, facilities, and needs; to assist in promoting knowledge of and participation in library programs; to aid in providing funds to meet special library needs; to stimulate gifts, endowments, and bequests.”
This organization supports the library system within four branches. These branches are located in Greenwood, Lavaca, Mansfield and Hartford.
“We had an active 2017,” she stated. “The Friends helped support the annual Summer Reading Program and volunteered for the end of program party in July.” Other activities included the city-wide garage sale and family story nights. They also provided holiday door prizes and decorations for all four branches, volunteered for the Taste of Fort Smith, honored staff members on their birthday as well as providing treats and fundraisers for local school staff. Lastly, a used book sale section is held at The Warehouse on Main Street in Greenwood as a fundraiser to support our local libraries.
The Library Board is working to try and provide the community with a new library as well as improvements to other branches. The organization also serves in support to the library board as well as providing a connection to the community. “The budget is tight on day to day operations,” Chamness stated, so the Friends try and help with special projects and needs.”
There is a preschool story time scheduled for March 2 at 10:30 am in Greenwood in order to celebrate Dr.Seuss Day. The library will be open from 5-9 pm as part of Tour Greenwood Tuesdays, which is sponsored by the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce. The Friends will be selling used books, “Supporter of the Library” tshirts, serving light refreshments and giving away door prizes. “We are also planning activities for our week-long celebration of National Library Week April 8-14,” she added. “We will have activities at Greenwood, Hartford, Lavaca, and Mansfield.”
Anyone, including individuals, families or businesses, who would like to support the library and join the organization can contact their local branch or President Brenda Yancey Chamness at FriendsoftheLibrarySebCo@gmail.com or (479) 461-5198. Also, you can join them on Facebook at Friends of the Library. Individual memberships begin at $10 per year. The group meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Greenwood Library. Join them on March 13th – everyone is welcome.
Can’t attend meetings? You can still join to show your support for your local libraries! Get in contact with them today!