In looking back at a successful 2014, we began the period by getting ready for our yearly raffle and collecting books
and other materials for our May book sale. Both events exceeded our expectations and we were thankful to our membership and
the public for their support. For the first time in memory, the raffles, which we had split into three because the sponsors
had been so generous, were all won by Blairsville residents (or people with Blairsville connections).
During the year we raised enough money through fundraising and membership dues to provide the library with over $8,000
to assist in purchasing books, periodicals, supplies and providing programs. The gap in government funding for libraries is
tremendous and growing, and FOUCL exists to plug this gap. We are especially proud that we were also able to maintain the
reserves we have put aside for current unforeseen needs of the library and future expansion needs.
This past year we elected to help with two community outreach projects. Since Suches is a distant part of Union County
not served by a branch library, we made a small donation to the Suches Community Reading Room for the purchase of bookshelves.
We also contributed to the local Ferst Foundation program in lieu of the program we had supported in past years, Books for
Babies. We anticipate that the Ferst Foundation support will be ongoing.
2014 was the year we started working on initiating some new fundraisers and expanding old ideas. Our newest fundraiser
was the play we cosponsored with the library in December. "A Christmas Carol," put on by The Hampstead Stage Company of Barnstead,
NH, was a treat enjoyed by all those who attended.
And don’t forget that 2014 was the year we signed up for the AmazonSmiles program, which results in a percentage
of the price of almost every purchase from Amazon by you (when you sign up) going to FOUCL for the library. See the poster
in the library or check our webpage ― www.foucl.org ― for details.
One of our fundraisers that has been going on for years, the Mile of Pennies, has been given a new focus by showing
Owliver, our mascot, walking a mile collecting the amount of pennies it takes to make a mile: $844.80. His progress will be
shown on a poster by having him move along the mile as the number of pennies mounts up. We hope to inspire kids at the elementary
and middle schools to contribute to the cause and to come by library to see how far they have helped Owliver go.
We will continue to look for new fundraisers in 2015, ones that will draw the community closer to the library and Friends
of Union County Library. We have a picnic planned for May and both members and those who would like to become members are
invited to join us. The date will be announced on our Facebook page (connect through the library website), on our webpage
and in the newspaper.
We ended the year with our annual Christmas party, held for the second year in a row at the Brasstown Valley Resort.
We were serenaded before the meal by the Smokie Mountain Melodies singing Christmas carols. It was a great time for members
to visit and have some fun.
FOUCL would like to encourage its members and other library supporters in Blairsville to begin in 2015 adopting books
and periodicals. If you have a favorite author or magazine, please think about supporting the library by paying for this.
This action on your part would be a contribution that will free up some funds to purchase more books. There will be a form
at the circulation desk to fill out stating your choice and some contact information.
Enclosed with this newsletter you’ll find a membership card. We encourage you to renew and also to fill out the
back of the card, which asks what talents/interests you’d like to share with FOUCL in the coming year. We hope to boost
our membership and continue to have fun as we find new and improved ways to support and promote our library as a vital and
relevant part of the Union County community. If you’ve already renewed, please pass the card on to a new "friend."
Remember, this is YOUR library – be a part! We need each and every one of you!