By JAMES BELL
Saturday evening, the Friends of the Hays Public Library is set to host their annual meeting.
The organization seeks to increase its membership and community involvement, so the event is free and open to the public.
The meeting is set to take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the library.
“This year, they're going to do make it more special,” said Hays Public Marketing Coordinator Callie Kolacny. You don't have to be a member of the friends organization to attend this. They really want to get the word out about the friends and possibly get some new members.”
Following a short meeting, wine, cheese and music will be available, allowing attendees to learn about the group at their leisure.
“So it'll just be a nice social gathering. You can find out more about the organization, which really is huge,” Kolacny said. “The organization is very important to the library. … They have volunteer work, they have the bookstore that they manage, they do those book exchanges, they do a lot of work for the library — and a lot of it is behind-the-scenes work.
“They help just really raise funds for the library, because all of the funds that go into the book exchanges and the bookstore, all of that money goes back into the library in some way or another.”
She said a recent example of the benefits from the organization is the addition of the Bookmobile and the full remodel.
It is also an inclusive group including people of a variety of ages and backgrounds.
For those members, there are benefits as well, like early access to book sales and discounts.
“There's a wide variety of things that you can do as a member of the friends organization,” Kolacny said. “And you can be a member for as little as $5 a year There's a variety of levels for the friend’s organization to be part of it, you can do a lifetime membership, you can do different, as I said different levels, depending on what you're comfortable with.
“And yes, this $5, it doesn't seem like a lot, but it does benefit the friends organization which in turn benefits the library,” Kolacny said. “So it is a great way to support the library without having to maybe spend a whole lot of time or money either way. But you're still giving something to the library.”