(Oneida, NY – March 2013) Friends of the Oneida Public Library invite members of community to share with them a 40th anniversary party, complete with refreshments, at the library, 220 Broad St., on Saturday, March 23 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

“We’re celebrating our accomplishments for the past 40 years,” said David Alvord, president of the Friends’ and offering anyone who might be interested in joining us a chance to learn more about what we do. We’re always open to new ideas on ways we can serve the library and the community. So please come to the library Saturday afternoon March 23, and share our festivities and enjoy the fine refreshments.”

Friends of the Oneida Library were formed in March 1973 with Mrs. John Coulter as chair and Mrs. Lawrence Westcott, a library trustee, as chief organizer and planner.

As described by then Library Director Helen Hodgkin in an article in the Oneida Daily Dispatch March 20, 1973, the Friends of the Library “will be a loosely organized group of civic-minded supporters who are interested in maintaining high standards of library service in the community. The overall purpose of the Friends will be to work with library trustees and staff to support the public library as a source of information, education and recreation for all citizens, from preschoolers to senior citizens, from the beginning reader to the specialist in search of highly technical information.”

The first act of the new Friends was to organize a used-book sale in September 1973, the first of the annual book sales that the Friends to this day hold in the fall.

“For 40 years,” said library director, Carolyn Gerakopoulos, “the Friends have been an incredibly supportive organization that always helps to supplement the library’s book budget and children’s programs. Their annual used-book sale, one of the largest in the region, involves vast time, organization and plain old hard work. And for the past few years, the Friends have run a very popular and successful holiday basket raffle.”

Currently, the Friends number just over 30 people. David Alvord serves as president, Barbara Chamberlain as vice-president and Shirley Winder as secretary.

The anniversary party is free and open to the public. Refreshments are being provided by Irwin’s Fine Food of Utica.

For more information, stop by Oneida Library, 220 Broad St., or call 363-3050.

By martha

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