In February, Tonia Moore, President of The Friends of the South Orange Publi Library (SOPL), announced a major donation to the library.

"Because of the generous participation of the community in our fund raising events throughout the year, The Friends of the SOPL are able to donate $10,000 to the adult and children’s book collections. This represents lots of hard work on the part of our volunteers and members. We are very happy to be able to do this,” she explained.

The Friends work to fund library programs and increase collections, and in addition increase awareness of the educational, informational and cultural activities of the library. Their goal is to help to strengthen the library’s relationship with this very diverse community and its schools and business community and to spread literacy throughout the world. They also fund the Children’s and Teen’s Summer Programs.

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The Book Cage is a used bookstore on the mezzanine level of the library that is stocked with donated books sold at extremely reasonable prices, from $.50 to $2.00, that are tax deductible (just ask for a receipt).  A Holiday Boutique in December and a book sale in June add funds to provide for purchase of books and museum passes available at the library permitting free visits for up to 4 people each. 

Donations of adult and children's books enable the volunteers to stock four Little Free Libraries scattered around the Village and the Cage. The Friends have partnered with Better World Books earning a percentage of their profits from worldwide sales of donated encyclopedias, user's manuals, textbooks, children's books and fiction which can be placed in the Big Green Box behind the Library at any time.

The Friends sponsor a foreign film series with five specially selected films during the year.  Film maker/educator Gerard Ansellem is moderator. He provides background and insights as well as cinematographic techniques. Part 4 of the series will be "A Special Day" (1977) staring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni on Thursday, March 30, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. pm at the library community meeting room on the lower level. 

If all this inspires you to get involved, a wide variety of memberships are available from student and senior at $10 to lifetime at $300. For more information please call the library at 973-762-0230, email: friends@sopl.org, or consult www.friends of sopl.org or their Facebook page.

"Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in."  Author Unknown.