Library Friends Hosts Statewide Conference

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Everyone knows that the Library Friends of Payson is a successful organization.

The fund-raising group did, after all, raise sufficient donations to complete construction of the state-of-the-art Payson Public Library. And since then it has been raising even more money for future expansion.

But here is yet another sure sign of success:

Last Friday, 52 members of similar organizations from all over the state came to town for the Second Annual Arizona Library Friends Regional Conference to pick up how-to-succeed tips from 15 members of the Library Friends of Payson.

"The purpose of the conference was to reach out to the small Library friends organizations and help them find ways to support their organizations, and thus support the libraries within their communities," said Mary Nolan, president of the Payson Library Friends.

"Some are in the process of just forming their organizations, and others are in the process of support efforts to expand their libraries or build a new library."

The theme of the event, dreamed up by Nolan, was "Friends Make Dreams Come True The Payson Model."

Addressing the gathering from the podium were Payson Mayor Ken Murphy, Payson Library Director Terry Morris, Gila County Library Director Jacque Griffin, and Arizona Library Friends President Trinidad Valentin.

Keynote speaker David Gunkle, director of the Sierra Vista Public Library, discussed the relationship between Arizona Library friends and the Arizona Library Association as it relates to legislative issues which promote libraries and library business throughout the state.

Presentations by local Library Friends included Judy Buettner on fund raising; Billie Gibbs on grant writing; John Wilson on by-laws, incorporation and insurance; Jim Buettner and Carol Lease on creating a membership/donor data base; Carol Zebb on publicity; Romaine Brophy on newsletters; Connie Bullock of the "Calling Tree"; Peggy Gray on the Rim Country Reader program; Peggy Freeman on shut-in services; and Nolan on library bookstores.

"We were the instructors, the educators," Nolan said.

"We were able to give these people knowledge to take back to their communities. But we learned a few things, too, so the conference was good for us all."

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