Library Friends to Donate $40,000

By Wilma Allen

At its annual membership meeting, Feb. 22, Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library (FOL) will present a $40,000 check to the Nassau County Library System for use in Fernandina Beach. This matches last year’s gift, which is the highest in the organization’s history. It purchased over 1,500 print and virtual books, language software, newspaper and magazine subscriptions, online newsletter subscriptions, genealogy materials, general software upgrades and more – all available free for public use.

Also at its meeting, FOL will announce the planned installation of “Common Ground,” an attractive landscaping addition with seating to enhance the appearance and usability of space outside the front entrance.

“It will be a little oasis between the Library and Fourth Street, perfect for using Library WiFi, meeting with friends, enjoying books and coffee, al fresco,” says FOL communications director, Nancy Jordan. The patio will consist of bricks that can be inscribed with a name, date, favorite book, or special message. Bricks can be ordered after Feb. 22, at the library or the FOL website.

When the meeting adjourns, FOL will be ready to party! The board is hosting a private event with entertainment to celebrate a major milestone – the 10th anniversary of groundbreaking for the $2.4 million improved, expanded library that we enjoy today. All those who donated and worked so hard to launch the project are invited.

According to FOL president, Jodie Mackle, the groundbreaking was a huge celebration back then. It symbolized FOL’s success after years of meetings, diplomacy, heated debates, and non-stop advocacy from a core group of library diehards who would not give up until their dream of a better library was realized. Ultimately, they generated commitments of $600,000 each from both city and county commissions and raised an additional $1,200,000 to complete the project. Over 100 guests, a children’s chorus from St. Michaels Academy, and singers with the Peck Ensemble, joined donors and politicians outside for speeches, dirt shoveling and lots of applause.

As a result, the library more than doubled in size and added the community room, computer, genealogy, collections, and children’s areas where this year’s celebration will take place.

The party will also acknowledge ongoing support that allows FOL to continue its annual contributions. With this year’s gift, FOL will have donated an additional $287,000 in annual gifts since the groundbreaking took place.

Friends of the Library’s mission is to promote literacy and lifelong learning in our community. If you’d like to become a member, visit The annual membership meeting will be in the Fernandina Beach Library on Fourth Street, Thursday, Feb. 22 at 5:30 p.m. It is open to all.

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Mark Tomes
Noble Member
Mark Tomes(@mtomes)
17 days ago

Great job, FOL! Libraries are one of the most vital foundations of a democracy, we must protect them and their independence from government intrusion vigorously.

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