Updated: Nov 12, 2019
Libraries are centers for gathering, where community is established through giving, programs, and a shared love of books. On November 9, 2019, members of the Friends of the Boca Raton Public Library came together over drinks and hors d’oeuvres as part of the Annual Membership Appreciation Meeting to discuss the last year’s dealings and to move forward into another year of promoting the good this organization has to offer.
The evening began with a cocktail hour of socializing, drinks, and snacks as new and established members mingled in the library foyer. Guests were found enjoying the after-hours feel of the library gallery which was populated with high-topped tables that added to the cocktail atmosphere. The Friends Bookstore also held a special appreciation sale for members to enjoy.
After the cocktail hour, Cyndi Bloom, the organization’s President, initiated the business dealings in an adjoining conference room where new and established members filled the chairs. At the front of the room was a large check showing the more than $77,000 donated to the library by the Friends to fund a mobile library van intended for use in underserved communities.
Cyndi began by speaking about some of the social programs initiated by the Friends. Cyndi first praised Susan Sosin, another member of the Board, for her hard work on the beautiful new Giving Tree at the Spanish River branch library. Leaves can be purchased as a dedication to someone’s memory or on behalf of a loved one. Tracy Wasserman, the Board Secretary and Public Communications Manager, then spoke about her work coordinating the award-winning Friends website and its new blog, new volunteers, and social media strategies for promoting the Friends’ events and programs. Next was the announcement of the coupling of the already established Donors’ Drive and Giving Tuesday, a nationwide non-profit fundraising program where the sentiment of giving extends beyond Thanksgiving. Cyndi also made mention of the upcoming Abraham Lincoln performance on 11/21 and the Frederick Douglass performance to be presented in February of 2020 which are sure to be a hit!
Elaine Caplan, the Board’s Treasurer, then reported on the Friends financial health and successes. So far this year, the bookstore has raised $82,000, and the Friends have donated nearly $120,000 to the library. The purchase of the mobile library is included in this donation, as are reading and education initiatives.
Finally, Krista Maki took the stage to discuss more upcoming events. In addition to the historical re-enactors coming to the library in the coming months, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician from Flint, Michigan who blew the whistle on the city’s water problems, will join the Friends to speak on November 24th. On December 4th, the Annual Author Showcase will take place, an opportunity to meet and greet two local authors at a Friends book club discussion.
After the speakers, Tracy held the re-election of the board members, all of whom gathered at the front of the meeting for acknowledgment of their hard work. The meeting ended with the raffle ticket drawing and a few laughs as Tracy won one of the baskets. A beautiful evening was enjoyed by all who celebrated the coming together of those passionate about the Friends of the Boca Raton Public Library.