We get asked this question a lot. So the next time you're in the Reston Library, look around. Look at the tables. Look at the chairs. Notice the new info desk and the new teen area. Observe the wi-fi bar for laptop use. Do you see those big screen monitors? Have you noticed the smaller, more maneuverable carts for transporting books? How about signage?
ALL of that has been paid for by the Friends of the Library.
I hear your question now, "But isn't that the County's responsibility?" Umm...well....yes. But if the County was left to pay for everything we pay for, our library would look a lot more like the lobby of the police station or the mental health center. Sparse. Utilitarian. Not very inviting. And when times are tough, there should be one sanctuary for people to relax in, look for a new job, build their skills, or just find a good book to escape in for a little while.
We also hear your question, "yeah, but the bathrooms are the WORST. Why don't you spend some money on them?" Sigh. We tried. We really tried, but the County said "no" on that one. There are some things (facilities maintenance and personnel) that the County has to maintain control over.
But imagine stripping away everything that makes the Reston Library space useful and accessible.
And then you understand the true value of supporting the Friends of the Library. There is very little you see at the library that the Friends haven't had a hand in funding. Even the book collection has received generous donations from the money we've raised. The County simply can't do it and if you WANT the County to do so, you will have to pay LOTS more taxes...isn't it better just to give money to the Friends group and see it work directly and quickly in YOUR OWN community?
But (as they say on TV), THAT'S NOT ALL . . . .
We also get the privilege of helping the Friends Group that supports Access Services. They aren't as large and don't have the physical space and ability to hold used book sales, so we help them fund things that the disabled patrons of Fairfax County Public Library System really need.
Recently, we helped underwrite the cost of their Technology Fair which matched up the latest in new technologies to assist the disabled with interested people. Here are some photos:
So, support the Friends group. Join us. Or donate books. Or purchase books and other Friends group stuff. Just don't be on the side lines.