UNION, NJ – The Union Public Library has a lot to offer, thanks in part from the efforts of a group of volunteers called The Friends of the Union Public Library.
The ‘Friends’ as they are known, has about 100 members. They meet once a month at the library. “The main function of the organization is to raise money so the library can do things they wouldn’t otherwise have the funds to do,” said ‘Friends’ President David Arminio.
Arminio said some recent initiatives funded by the ‘Friends’ were Literacy Stations, the Summer Reading Program and “Black History –The Musicla”, in collaboration with the Historical Society and the library. He said the biggest initiative for the group is the funding of the Museum Pass Program.
Union Public Library Director Karen O’Malley said the library and the ‘Friends’ listen to each other about what is needed and what can be accomplished. “We have a good partnership,” she said.
Arminio said this summer, in collaboration with Union schools and the library, the ‘Friends’ will help support the ELL (English Language Learners) Program. The program runs once weekly from June 23 – August 24 for two groups: kindergarten through second grade and third through sixth grade.
“When I was young,” said Arminio, who grew up in Union, “I’d go to the Townley Branch Library on Morris Avenue every week. It was a great experience. I want kids to want to come to the library.”
“We’re very grateful for the funding the ‘Friends’ provide to help us serve the community and provide the services we can’t because of budget limitations,” said O’Malley.
It’s the ‘Friends’ mission that through volunteerism and fundraising, they support the Union Public Library in its effort to encourage the community to connect, explore and discover.
Upcoming Friends of the Library events include a dine-to-donate event at Tiff’s Burger & Ale House (April 26, 5:00-9:00 p.m.); National Library Week favorite book sharing (the month of April); and a trip to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA (May 20).