By Stacey Bomser
The Weston Branch Library offers more than just books. It is a community center as well, offering everything from story time sessions for children and chair yoga classes for adults to puppet shows and cultural concerts. Most of these programs would not be possible without the Weston Friends of the Library.
Originally formed in 1993 with the goal of establishing a library in Weston, the Weston Friends of the Library were instrumental in creating the Weston Reading Center and eventually the building of Broward County’s Weston Branch Library.
For nearly 25 years, the Weston Friends of the Library have advocated for and helped support the Weston Branch Library. Like any good friend, this group of community volunteers provides physical, emotional and financial support to the library. It promotes awareness of the library and its services, serves as a liaison between the library and the Weston community, and raises funds to supplement programs not provided by the county.
The Weston Friends of the Library sponsor programs and activities for all age groups. “Our most popular adult program is chair yoga,” states Co-President Ellen Korman. “The summer children’s program was a huge hit. We had puppet shows and storytellers and animal shows and a Venezuelan folk music concert.”
Co-President Ruth Bettini adds, “Every Thursday, year-round, we have baby, toddler and preschool story time that includes reading, singing, crafts and games. Once a month, we also offer baby, toddler and preschool yoga classes.”
These programs are offered free of charge and are funded by the Weston Friends of the Library. Most of the money raised comes from the Friends’ Bookstore. Located in the library’s lobby area, the bookstore sells gently used books and DVD’s that have been donated by members of the community. There are more than 1,000 books for all ages encompassing all genres from fiction and non-fiction to self-help books, travel guides and cookbooks. The majority sell for 50-cents or $1.00.
“Four or five times a year, we also have a Book Fair,” notes Korman. “We fill the lobby with hundreds of books and DVD’s and sell them at a reduced price. You are guaranteed to find bargains galore. It’s a wonderful community event and our biggest fundraiser.”
In addition to purchasing books and snacks from the Friends’ Bookstore, you can help support the Weston Friends of the Library and its efforts by becoming a member and/or volunteer.
“Please remember that libraries are much more than just a place to borrow books. We have wonderful programs and activities for the entire community from babies to seniors,” shares Bettini. “We are a warm and friendly group and would love to have you join us.”
For more information on joining the Weston Friends of the Library or becoming a volunteer, stop by the Friends’ Bookstore in the Weston Branch Library lobby, email WestonFriendsOfTheLibrary@gmail.com, or call 954-357-5420.