The Friends of the Richards Free Library is an active, voluntary community organization focused on enriching our library.
Our primary role is to raise money to help fund items and projects that are outside the regular library budget. These include:
- Purchase of books and audio books
- Children’s programs including the Summer Performance Series
- Guest Speakers
- Downloadable Audio & Ebooks
- Universal Class
We raise funds through membership and donations to the Friends. A significant part of our funds come from the Centurions – a special group of donors who contribute at least $100 per year. We are grateful to those who can afford to contribute at this level but value all our members.
Our major fundraiser of the year is the annual Library Festival to be held on the fourth Saturday in August. The Festival includes a large Book Sale (Members are admitted for a special “Early Bird” hour giving you the best access to the thousands of books offered for sale!), the Cookie Walk, lunch on the porch, children’s activities and an opportunity to visit with old and new friends. The Festival is held in conjunction with the Library Arts Center’s Apple Pie Craft Fair for one of Newport’s most festive days of the year!
The Friends also offer opportunities for volunteers to be involved in our Library and our community. Two years ago, we implemented First Mondays. On the First Monday each month, anyone wishing to can join us from 9 to 11 am at the Library to help staff with whatever needs doing. This grew out of our annual Christmas decorating and de-decorating and has become a monthly event. We have assembled mailings; sorted through and repaired games and puzzles; hunted for lost books; and there is always shelf reading which is far more fun when done by a group. In addition to feeling good about helping out, we also enjoy coffee and something good to eat! Come join us.
The Friends of the Richards Free Library are also part of the community’s Sunshine Diner program. We regularly provide both children’s and adult books for Diner guests to take home. And once a year, we host the monthly dinner.