Promoting literacy with the ‘Folks’ at FOLK
- Written by Madison Terrier
Jugglers, magicians, zoo animals and princess tea parties aren’t normally what you would find in a library. But the Kingwood Branch Library has Friends of the Library Kingwood (FOLK) on their side. Chartered in 1981, FOLK is a non-profit organization with a goal of bettering the Kingwood Library. The group takes all funds made off of their used book store and put it into the library’s budget. “Our community benefits a lot from having such a great library,” said President of FOLK, Carolyn Humphrey. “I think our community is better educated when it has a library because the library is learning.” FOLK is located off the lobby of the library, and has grown from only having quarterly book sales every year, to being a permanent bookstore, opened the same hours as the library. “FOLK started before there was even a library,” said Humphrey. “It was a group of people that wanted Kingwood to have a library, and went from house to house, door to door, asking for contributions.” The used book store has grown to include everything from comics, cookbooks, necessities for school, and recent best-sellers. Everything in the store was donated by the community in order to maximize the profit for the library. More than 70 volunteers are what keep FOLK running. The group of friends is made up of its volunteers as well as its board of directors including, Humphrey as president, 1st Vice President Richard LaFosse, 2nd Vice President Marianne Lincoln, Recording Secretary Betsy Birkett, Treasurer Roger Whitney, Corresponding Secretary Chris Davis, Historian/Pavers Becky Jinette, Newsletter Phyllis Louderback, Used Book Store Frances Pelham, Draggoneer Club Raquel Henry, Special Projects Connie Jaeger, Publicity Emily Maas, Webmaster Chuck Dugand, Grant Writer Karen Buchler, and Librarian Christi Whittington. “I am a board of trustee member as well as a cashier when I volunteer,” said Maas. “It’s really a nice thing to do for the community. I just like to read. That’s one reason I wanted to be there. Humphrey also said that she likes volunteering not only because of her love for reading, but also because of the friends she has made. “The group of friends is a wonderful group to work with,” said Humphrey. Over the past year, FOLK has given $115,000 to the Kingwood Branch Library. “It’s just wonderful,” said Kingwood Branch Librarian Christi Whittington. “It’s wonderful that the friends are able to add to our budget. Not only do they help fund our children’s summer reading program, but they also help add materials to the children’s and adult sections of the library.” The prices for the FOLK used books are: 50 cents to $1 for children’s books, $1 - $2 for adult paperbacks and hardbacks, and $1 - $5 dollars for newly released books, coffee table books, DVDs, audiobooks, music and computer games. FOLK also offers a family membership. Community members can donate $20 or more in membership fees and receive a 15 percent discount on all purchases throughout the year. Other opportunities for donating include purchasing a paver and naming a room. One can purchase a paver for $150 with an inscription to forever be a part of the walkway leading up to the entrance of Kingwood Library or, with a contribution of $10,000-$50,000, have a room in the library named for an individual or group of contributors. “We are very, very fortunate that our community uses, appreciates, loves the library, and contributes to our FOLK group by volunteering or buying used books,” said Whittington. First photo: Kingwood Branch Library Monday book store volunteers (from left) Frances M. Pelham, Lynette Campbell and Dale Schwarz are delighted to assist in finding books. Second photo: Danielle Cantu, 2nd grade teacher at Elm Groves Elementary, shops for her classroom at the Friends of the Kingwood Library book store.