Friends of Libraries Week observed at Brooks Memorial Library

BRATTLEBORO — The Friends of the Brooks Memorial Library celebrates the ninth annual National Friends of Libraries week Oct. 19-25.

As part of this celebration, the Friends are giving away handsome bookmarks with pertinent quotes by famous authors and public figures past and present.

Established in 1991, the Friends of Brooks Memorial Library raises money annually to support the purchase of computers, print and ebooks, materials for the Children's Room, database subscriptions, free passes to regional museums, the First Wednesday lecture series, and more.

The Friends board meets monthly to plan concerts, book sales, and other entertaining and informational public occasions that will promote and raise funds to help support the Library.

Friends President Mary Ide notes that author Susan Orlean once observed, “Libraries are what is best about us as a society: open, exciting, rich, informative, free, inclusive, engaging.”

And Ide points out that, since 1886, the town of Brattleboro has supported a public library for its residents. Today's Brooks Memorial Library continues to be an open and free resource of information and lifelong learning for all ages.

The Friends' support for digital technologies allows patrons to use public-access computers and connect to the world's rich information and multi-media resources through free WiFi access. This access allows library users to keep current with job searches and prospects and provides access to daily and weekly newspapers, online educational opportunities, medical information, and other resources.

A recent technology survey at the Brooks Library confirmed the importance of the public-access computers:

• Forty-two percent of the library technology patrons surveyed said they used the public access computers or wireless connection for employment purposes.

• Fifty percent of respondents reported using the computers to get information on health and wellness topics.

• Forty-nine percent said they used the computers to stay in touch with family and friends and to build and maintain social networks.

This fall, the Friends of Brooks Memorial Library and the Brooks Library Board of Trustees have joined hands to initiate an annual appeal for donations to support the Library. This campaign, the first of its kind for the Friends and Trustees, is intended to assure that the Brooks Memorial Library maintains its high quality of services, programs, and collections.

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