A sincere thank you to all of the patrons that supported the Friends of the Library Bag-of-Books sale Jan. 28, 29 and 30. All of the proceeds from the book sales go to financial support of the Finney County Public Library. A special thank you to the young people that helped set up and take down the book sale in the Hutchinson and Finnup rooms at the library; namely, high school students Elizabeth Weinacht, Erendira Jimenez, Brevin Irvin and Gary Haley and intermediate school student Liz Marcy. These are great young people and the community should be proud of them. Also, thanks to the adult volunteers who worked before, during and after the sale.

To date, the Friends of the Library have contributed more than $56,000 in financial support of the library. Such support has included financial contributions for the purchase of PC reservation software, sculpture project, outdoor library events sign, a DVD repair machine, assorted books, chair carts, Wii system, a large-screen-events TV for the lobby, patron copy machine, library furniture, contributions to the Western Kansas Community Foundation, and various other miscellaneous and direct library expenses.

The next major Friends of the Library project is projected to be an ongoing used-book corner that would be housed within the library. Currently, the Friends conduct two book sales each year, one in late January and another during Beef Empire Days in late May, early June. The ongoing used-book library corner would permit sales of used books throughout the year. Patrons could purchase used books for a nominal dollar amount every day that the library is open and would not have to wait until a book sale. The major book sale events would still happen twice a year, but patrons could purchase used books on a limited scale on a regular daily basis. The cost of such a project is estimated to be around $6,000. The Friends of the Library hope to fund this project through book sales, donations and grants. The library is an important community asset. In 2009 there were 40,985 registered library card holders, 150,000 library collections all available for public use at no charge, library circulation of more than 225,000 items and 50,000 computer users. More than 13,000 people attended special programming at the library, a 39 percent increase over 2008. Another 5,700 individuals participated in outreach programming in 2009. Outreach materials are delivered to all area nursing homes, the Juvenile Detention Center and the homes of the infirm on a monthly basis. The library trustees, library staff and the Friends of the Library are in constant motion to provide Garden City, Finney County and the surrounding area with first-rate library services.

KEN HARSHA,

Garden City

Harsha is president of the Friends of the Finney County Public Library.