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Library is looking for some `Friends'.

Byline: Michael Kane

BOYLSTON - It appears that cuts to the library budget could have collateral effects on the group that supplements that budget.

The Friends of the Boylston Library group has started its fall membership drive, but has lost the vehicle to get its message to the masses, the library newsletter, The Binder.

"The library went through budget cuts, and as a result cannot do a mass mailing of The Binder," Friends President Wendy Lonstein said. "Without The Binder, we have no way to get our membership drive out to the community."

Since government entities cannot raise money, Friends groups are legal non-profit organizations that can raise and then donate services or money to the library, similar to parent-teacher groups in schools.

In Boylston, the Friends group holds three fundraisers, its annual membership drives in the spring and fall, and the Memorial Day book sale. The membership drive typically brings in $700 to $1,000, Lonstein said.

"All of that money goes directly to community events," Lonstein said.

In Boylston, Lonstein said the friends group sponsors adult and children events. Among the better-known events are: the annual Easter egg hunt, a holiday party and movie nights.

Additionally, the group sponsors museum and attraction passes, speakers and entertainers, and runs a "Friends-helping-Friends" program, in which members bring books to residents unable to get to the library.

Last year, the group expanded the annual pumpkin decorating contest to a larger event, a fall harvest. This year, the Friends partnered with the Parks and Recreation commission to tie two events, the harvest and the first annual scarecrow decorating contest, together. The Fall Harvest is this Saturday, Oct. 25, at which the contest winners will be announced.

"Everything we put on is free to the public," Lonstein said. "We're really trying to ramp up our activities. The reason we have these membership drives is so we can put these programs on and keep them free and open to the public."

Memberships in the Friends of the Boylston Library vary. Currently, a "golden family" membership is $50. A "family" membership is $25 and "individual" memberships are $10. Corporate memberships are $100. There is no charge for a senior membership, for residents over 60 years old.

People interested in becoming a Friends member can mail their dues to: The Friends of the Boylston Library, 695, Main St., Boylston, 01505; or, membership dues may be hand delivered to the library.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Oct 23, 2008
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