Met some Friends of the Library cronies for brunch at a local kitchen. It's always fun to see them outside the area we usually see them.
Our Friends group has encountered some difficulties lately. We received a donation of some very high value, unique books. Despite them being behind a locked door, someone (staff, volunteer, maintenance?) stole some of them. This isn't the smartest thief -- the books are part of what is called the Dietrichstein collection. They were wealthy European collectors of the 18th century, and their books are eagerly watched for. So unless it goes into a private collection and never sees the light of day again, there's no money to be made.
What's interesting is the positive response we've received from the antiquarian book world. They have watch lists and postings and people who regularly view the ebay-type sites looking for stolen items. Book lovers, unite!
My friends and I are also trying to look down the road 10-15 years. Donations to libraries are down because people are not buying as many physical books. Yet, county governments have come to rely on the friends groups for money. In 10 years, when our book sales are much smaller due to dwindling supply, it is doubtful that county demand for revenue will be any less! So we need to look at how our Friends group might morph into something different. Some Friends groups raise money with gala events or big dollar author talks. If we go that direction, they'll have to do that without me. I don't mind packing boxes and running a cashier stand, but I am so NOT a gala-event type person!
What is your library doing to enhance its collection?
Here are some photos of unique items we offered during the recent sale.