Click on the Volunteer button at right to see current opportunities.
The Friends are a group of neighborhood volunteers who, through fundraising and advocacy, were instrumental in bringing about the renovation of the condemned library building in 1998 and its reopening in 2004 with handicapped-access doors, a street light, and a book drop box.
We continue to support Walnut Street West Library and its mission by:
Communicating with librarians about branch priorities and needs;
Identifying and facilitating programs and services of interest to children, teens, and adults in the
Providing refreshments and funds for library programs throughout the year;
Being a consistent resource to the community through library staff transitions;
Augmenting the library's collection of books, magazines, newspapers, and DVDs;
Maintaining the Friends' website and publishing newsletters to keep members informed;
Fundraising for library equipment and supplies not provided for in the city budget;
Engaging neighbors to volunteer;
Advocating for library support at city and state levels.
In 2010, we added ongoing children's Spanish classes to our ongoing children's Chess Club and annual Spring Egg Hunt. We also planted an herb garden on the south side of the library and continue to maintain the flower beds.
In 2011, we began the annual Lunar New Year celebration and the WSWLibraryFriends.org website, added hand dryers in each restroom and anti-bacterial gel stands upstairs, and replaced the dilapidating counter-height chairs at the front desk.
In 2012, we hosted the first Inter-library Chess Tournament, bought a piano for the annual children's Holiday Concert, implemented our ongoing English Conversation Buddies program for ESL adults, and began our annual Holiday Wreath-making workshop. We also replaced librarians' desk chairs and set up the ongoing lobby book sales to get books in the hands of readers year-round.
We added online games to the Spanish program in 2013, an annual Spring Planting workshop, got the carpets steam cleaned, and staffed youth summer programs when a librarian left unexpectedly.
2014 found us lobbying at City Hall for 6-day library service which now allows our library to stay open Monday through Saturday all year long! We also got the upholstered chairs steam-cleaned and bought a TV monitor for the lobby to display upcoming events.
In 2015, we are focusing on better signage inside and outside our library building, more adult programming and improvements to the pre-school area. A strategic planning committee was formed by neighborhood volunteers. All while seeing the library through four branch managers since 2010!
2016 brings the 110th Anniversary of the branch in its Carnegie Library building. Now open every day and with more circulation and programming than all other branches except NE regional, it is in dire need of new carpets and HVAC systems. To this end, we've embarked on a joint campaign with the Library Foundation to raise $110,000. The strategic plan helps us focus our efforts on communication, collaboration and community volunteer recruitment. We welcome your ideas, energy and support.
We welcome your ideas, energy, and support.