About The Friends
Every nonprofit institution needs Friends—and the East Brunswick Public Library is no exception. Fortunately, the Friends of The Library came into existence when The Library opened its doors in 1967. Along every step of the way, The Friends has been an enthusiastic and generous supporter, providing funds beyond the capabilities of The Library’s budget. That longtime partnership has resulted in countless additional programs and purchases of equipment, furnishing and materials, both print and online, that enable the library to offer those “extras” that make the difference. Chances are if you or your family have attended a children’s program, viewed a film, seen a well-known author, learned a new skill, or enjoyed a performance by a musical group at the library, the Friends were involved. Truly, people of all ages, backgrounds and tastes can find print and media materials and programs of interest to them, thanks in large part to contributions by The Friends.
The Friends of The Library is one of the largest such groups in New Jersey, approximately 1,600 members strong, including individuals, families, organizations and businesses. The key mission of this illustrious group of volunteers is to keep the library at the forefront of information services for the entire community and to promote public awareness of and encourage use of the library’s vast resources. The Friends has fulfilled its purpose so well that it has been honored by such bodies as the New Jersey Library Association and the United Way.
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In addition to supporting library programs, the Friends organizes and sponsors special events, such as the always anticipated Bargain Book and Media Sale; What’s It Worth? Antiques & Collectibles Appraisal; Phyllis Noar Puppetry Festival; as well as defensive driving classes and trips to museums, gardens, shows and other culturally relevant destinations. The Friends has provided startup funding for numerous collections, such as DVDs, computer software, and video games. It also promotes literacy through an annual grant to the Literacy Programs of New Jersey, supports professional development for Library staff, and sponsors an annual scholarship award to a graduating East Brunswick High School senior interested in library services.
How does the Friends accomplish all that? Thanks to proceeds from major fundraisers, such as the Bargain Book and Media Sale, and dues from members, the Friends is able to keep the library at the pinnacle of service. You can be a part of the Friends’ important work, just by joining.
Foundation & Friends ...Working Side by Side
Often the Library Foundation and Friends of the Library are referred to interchangeably. Often we are asked "what's the difference between the Foundation and the Friends"? Why do we have both? The answer is simple - both groups work to support the Library, but in very different ways. Both exist to provide private funding to the library in order to enhance and enrich the services the library can offer our community, but their focus and scope are quite different.
The Friends of the East Brunswick Public Library is a separate 501 (c) (3) organization and has been in existence since the library opened its doors in 1967. The purpose of the Friends is to foster closer relations between the library and the citizens of East Brunswick; to promote knowledge of the functions and needs of the library; and to lead in the development of a program for the extension and improvement of library services and resources. The Friends Executive Board includes people from the community who love the library. They are enthusiastic and generous supporters of the library with their time, talent and treasure. The Friends efforts and ongoing participation raises funds that underwrite programs and activities beyond the capabilities of the Library's budget.
The Friends major fundraising efforts - the Annual Book Sale and Membership Drive, have provided support for the immediate needs of children's and adult programming. Since the library was opened, the Friends have enabled the library to offer those little, and sometimes big "extras" that make a good library a great library. Gifts from the Friends can be seen all around the library building and, over the years, their fundraising acumen has afforded tremendous benefits to the East Brunswick community. Every resident can be part of the Friends' important work, simply by joining each year at a level that is comfortable for you. Please go to http://ebpl.org/friends/friendsmembership.cfm for more information about Friends.
The Library Foundation is a separate not-for-profit organization that came into existence in 2009. The Foundation is governed by a separate Board of Directors, distinct from the Friends Executive Board and the Library's governing Board of Trustees. The Foundation's mission is to raise private dollars that will secure the future of a robust, innovative library. The ultimate goals of the Library's Foundation is to build an endowment fund which will provide annual interest payments, allowing the library to plan special events and implement new services for many generations in the future. Foundation fundraising efforts target a very different audience and library supporter. Our approach is multi-pronged, including major bequests, private, corporate, and family foundation gifts, as well as several planned giving vehicles. Foundation Board members understand that a great public library is not possible through public funding alone. The East Brunswick Public Library is one of the most important educational and cultural resources in our community. Foundation Board members make a personal commitment to donate annually to the Foundation as well as work alongside the Library Development team to garner major gifts. The Foundation has already garnered several bequests that are being used towards the ultimate endowment goal. If you are interested in investing in the future of our dynamic, innovative library, please consider a bequest or gift to the Library Foundation. For more information about this process, please contact MaryEllen Firestone, Library Director or Andrea Alexander, Development Director.
Your generous gift to the Friends or the Foundation is extremely valuable. At all levels, your donation will strengthen the library and its ability to remain meaningful and contemporary in an ever- changing world. Thank you in advance for thinking of us!