December 2019 – Year End Reflections

President Post – Year End Reflections

2020, the year sounds so futuristic and yet it’s just a few weeks away.  When I reflect on 2019, I will remember

  • The 100 plus volunteers who kept the stores open 67 hours each week. .All the volunteers reassure me of the goodness in the world.
  • Our patrons who continue to support the library.  After having a conversation with one patron about an Indian author, it gave us inspiration to devote shelves to highlight international writers and foreign language books at the Sharon Forks Store.
  • The increase in book donations. Thank You!
  • The 2,000 paperback books donated to the Forsyth County Jail,  the 400 large print books donated to seniors at the annual Senior Expo, the donations to the military through the Treat the Troops Program,  the free books offered to new Forsyth County School teachers,  and the free books that residents of Jesse’s House select each month.
  • The Spring Volunteer Appreciation luncheon with 75 attendees.
  • The Forsyth Reads Author event with Martha Hall Kelly – we gave out hundreds of water bottles and it is an event that the FRIENDS helps sponsor.
  • The PopUp store at the Summer Reading Carnival at Lanier Tech – with over 1,000 attendees.
  • The PopUp Store at the Play at the Park Festival at Fowler Park (in 90-degree sweltering heat)
  • The success at the Hampton Park FRIENDS Shelves.
  • The reorganization of the Friends storage.
  • The new appointment of Sharon Forks Store Manager, Stephanie Peters.
  • The closing of the Cumming Store (set to reopen in a few weeks).
  • The partnerships with Jacob and Inna Dubin, Amazon sellers, and with Read It Again bookstore.
  • The design of the new logo

There are several people I’d like to praise and thank this year.

Bobby Williams, FCPL Facilities & Construction Manager, went above his normal job to help the FRIENDS.  Recently, he and his crew removed ALL 200 plus shelves from the Cumming store, so that new paint and carpet could be applied.  He redesigned and installed shelving in the storage area, so the Friends could store more books and process shipments efficiently. I also want to thank his department for the shipment of hundreds of boxes that the Friends needed to move from one branch to another through out this year. The FRIENDS are indebted to Bobby and the department. Bobby is set to retire in a few weeks after MANY years with the Library and he is going to be missed GREATLY.  We wish him well on the next chapter of his life.

The Bookstore Managers.  They enjoy and spend MANY hours working to make the stores the best they can be.  At monthly meetings, we’ve continued to refine many of our procedures, plan store offerings, and reorganize the stores for greater product visibility.  Their hard work is represented in the numbers – the sales have increased this year, so that we are able to offer,  by the end of the financial year in 2020, nearly $60,000 to the Library.

The FRIENDS Board – a group of seven who meet monthly to discuss how to support the library with its volunteers and resources from book sales. The Board determines the vision, operation, and policies of the FRIENDS. We’ve had a wonderful growth year and that comes with excitement and challenges. These people are dedicated to supporting that the Library has programs and they are available for ALL the residents.

Traci Allison – designer of the FRIENDS logo – This year, we wanted to create an image that would be recognizable as the FCPL FRIENDS and Advocates. To help us we turned to Traci Allision.  She is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator, and is a long time resident of Forsyth County.  Traci is a member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and has illustrated four picture books.  She is currently nurturing her own manuscript, a story about an artistic mole. She is very knowledgeable how images portray on different mediums and was so patient during our process.  Her website is and her art can also be seen on Instagram @traciallisonart.

In 2019, the FCPL Friends and Advocates celebrated 10 years being incorporated as a Non Profit organization.    It is fitting that we begin 2020 with the  re-opening of the Cumming Branch Bookstore – it was the first bookstore opened 8 years ago.  Until then, may peace be with you this holiday time and please visit with us in the New Year.


Jodie Barger
2019/2020 FCPL FRIENDS and Advocates President

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