Who We Are FOSL MEMBERSHIP FORM
We're anything but FOSSILs. Yet that's an acronym we sometimes whimsically use to refer to the Friends of the Salem Library (FOSL) an organization you'll learn to love. Far from belonging to the past, we have our sights set on helping the Salem Public Library reach it's full potential as a learning center full of vitality, vim and vigor.
The focus is on books and reading. But there's more: Storytelling, videos, newspapers, magazines, nationwide telephone directory service, business directories, investment guides, research sources for school projects and genealogy. The list goes on and on:
- A community meeting room.
- Literacy tutoring space.
- Art displays.
- Internet access.
- Electronic reference to find newspapers and magazine articles on your topic.
- Computerized access to the catalogs of every public library in Salem, Roanoke City, Botetourt County, and Roanoke County.
Where We've Been
Support groups for public libraries are nothing new or rare, but there must be a spark. Salem Friends trace their roots to a casual conversation in September, 1988, between Joyce M. Foster and Earnestine Woodliff Lewis, former children's librarian of the Salem Public Library. Acting on their ideas, Mrs. Foster became the Friends organizer, mentor and first president. (1988-90).
Over the years, The Salem Friends have enrolled numerous families as members and boosters. More formally , Friends of the Salem library is chartered as a non-stock corporation under Virginia law and holds tax exempt status for Federal taxation purposes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Simply put, that means gifts to the Friends are tax deductible.
Early on, Salem Friends were active in the campaign that resulted in the 1990-91 expansion and renovation of the library on Salem's Library Square.
FOSL Presidents have included Peggy "Jackie" Cook (d.1991); Paul H. Simpkins; Grace J. Thomas; Alice P. Paine and Dee Rose
Where We're Going
Our goal is to intensify public attention on the library, its resources and services; to become personally involved in rallying citizens, support to assure adequate library funding at the municipal and state levels; and to encourage gifts and bequests to the library.
How We Got There
Increasing membership is the one sure way to expand our support base. Membership is open to any citizen, at any of several membership levels. Please pick up a membership application form at the library or, better yet, attend one of our meetings.
What We're Doing
Our most visible project is the book sale in September. Friends and library patrons donate hundreds of books, bringing them to the library in the summer months prior to the sale. Members sort, price, display and sell them to the public during Olde Salem Days, usually the second Saturday of September.. Proceeds benefit library activities and needs.
Labels for Education
Labels from Campbell soup cans and other products are recycled into vital library equipment through this popular, successful project, the brainchild of member Carol K. Coughlan, which received her dedicated attention for over 10 years.
Patrons place qualifying labels and symbols from Campbell, Franco-American, Pace, Pepperidge Farm, Prego, Swanson, and V8 products* into a collection box at the library. Volunteers sort through the labels and symbols and assemble the correct quantity and type for redemption. The result: Video and audio cassette players, three typewriters, a world globe in relief, a portable sound system an opaque projector - all in service at the library. ( *See the complete list of labels and symbols at the library.) Click here to see all the acquistions the Friends of the Salem Library have made via the Labels for Education. Thank you for your help!
Although the program ended in 2005, volunteers offered help in preparing tax returns at the library since 1985. Through FOSL efforts, computers, printers and software were made available to the volunteers. During tax season, FOSL members served as receptionists and the library provided tax forms, instructions and reference materials. Some taxpayers receiving assistance made voluntary contributions to the Salem Friends.
The Salem Friends have funded many programs and equipment purchases for the library: Summer Reading, Morning Coffee for Patrons, permanent Christmas tree, a Heritage Quilt, display case, bulletin board, filmstrip projector, television set, plaques, video tape cleaners, Ellison die cutter, computer work stations, film series for high school English classes.
Memorial contributions in any amount are welcomed and acknowledged. If preferred, a contribution may be directed to the Memorial Book Fund, which is used to pay for special books on the library's acquire list; a memorial bookplate is affixed to the book.
How You Can Help
Join the Friends of the Salem Library. Then send a donation to the Friends or, if you wish, include a donation with your dues check. The FOSL membership form is also available online. You must have Adobe Acrobat to use this form; it can be downloaded free from adobe.com. Seek the advice of your attorney to make a bequest by your will. Check with you financial advisor about gifts of securities or property to the Friends.
All of these opportunities for support benefit the Salem Public Library and have potential tax-saving advantages. A copy of our IRS determination letter and further information are available on request. For further information, write the FOSL Treasurer.
Mail to: FOSL Treasurer
Salem Public Library
28 E. Main Street
Salem, VA 24153-3897