Who We Are and What We Do
The Friends of the Woodbridge Library is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Friends’ mission is to promote knowledge and usage of the library resources and services; to assist in securing materials beyond the scope of the library budget; and to encourage reading and education thereby fostering close relations between the community and the library.
To support these efforts, the Friends mail out a town-wide, annual fundraising appeal, encourage bequests and memorial donations, and manage a bookstore with items donated by the community. Adult volunteers collect, clean, and sort the books along with the help of students from Amity High School. Donations are accepted periodically during the year, depending on the inventory space available.
A signature achievement of the Friends is Bookstore Alley, a cheerful, well-organized bookstore amply stocked with gently-used books and other donated items. Prices at the bookstore are low: adult hardcovers and jigsaw puzzles are $2; paperbacks, DVDs, and CDs are 3 for $1; children’s hardcover books are $1. Bookstore Alley is located on the Mezzanine level of the Library and is open during all Library hours. Mini book sales are occasionally held on the library lawn.
You may pay for your items by cash, credit card, or check at the Circulation Desk on the main floor or by putting payment in the wooden Honor Boxes located in the bookstore. Please make checks out to Friends of Woodbridge Library. You can also pay for items and/or donate to the Friends of Woodbridge Library via your PayPal account. Search PayPal for “Friends of Woodbridge Library.” Thank you!
Membership: Become a Friend
Friends of the Woodbridge Library Membership starts at $10 for seniors and students and is open to all interested people, organizations, and businesses and provides a means to share your enthusiasm for the aims and services of the Library. The money raised through these endeavors go to enhance the library offerings: speaker programs, equipment (particularly computer and technology equipment), professional staff training, movie nights, statewide museum passes and activities for all ages from preschool puppet shows to adult cooking demonstrations.
To become a Friend:
- pick up a membership envelope at the Library Circulation Desk
- return the membership envelope sent out during an annual appeal
- make a payment via your PayPal account; search for Friends of the Woodbridge Library
– Students/Seniors: $10
– Individual: $15
– Family: $25
– Supporter: $50
– Patron: $100
– Benefactor: $200
Access PayPal from here!
Use your PayPal account to search for “Friends of the Woodbridge Library”
Check out some of our projects:
Richard Blackwell Scholarship for Student Volunteers
High school students volunteer to clean and shelve books donated by the public, put together book displays and help at our book sales. Dick Blackwell, a member of the Library Commission, has generously created an annual Volunteer Scholarship available to Friends’ volunteers who are graduating seniors from Amity Regional High School.
Dick Blackwell was instilled with the spirit of volunteerism by his mother, Mary, and is pleased to see high school students in our community learning the value of volunteerism. Mr. Blackwell is excited to fund this project as he believes our town library is a community treasure.
Pictured in the Woodbridge Room, from left: Friends of the Library Co-Treasurer Cathy Austin, Library Director Eric Werthmann, Donor and Library Commission member Dick Blackwell, and FOL Co-Treasurer Donna Lehman.
Estate gift from Jeannette Kordiak used to refresh the Woodbridge Room
Jeannette Kordiak, who passed away in 2019, was a gracious, long-time library supporter and left a bequest in her estate to the Friends.
Using this gift, in consultation with Library Director Eric Werthmann and the Library Commission, the Friends refreshed existing furniture and purchased new items for the beautiful Woodbridge Room, a section of the original library.
The Woodbridge Room is ideal for studying, reading, or gathering. The Friends purchased new reading chairs, a round table suitable for scrabble or card playing, and two moveable laptop desks. Richard Falco, a local artist from West Haven, reinforced and beautifully restored twelve hardwood maple chairs.
Below and right: scenes from the updated and refreshed Woodbridge Room, complete with patrons enjoying library products AND the new additions to the decor.
Please consider following Mrs. Kordiak’s example and remember the Friends of the Woodbridge Library in your estate planning.
The Friends’ next project is to update some furnishings in the Children’s Department. If you are interested in contributing to this project, perhaps by donating the funds for a new piece of furniture or equipment, please contact the Friends.
Children’s Room Tree Mural
The Friends funded a reading mural as part of the national program, 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten.
Local artist Toni Miraldi of Mural Envy created the mural, which features a variety of animals and plants. The Children’s Room is a popular spot for children of all ages, and the new mural adds to the inviting atmosphere of the room. The Friends of the Library are grateful to Ms. Miraldi for her beautiful work and to the library staff for their help in installing the mural.
The reading mural is tucked into a cozy corner of the Children’s Room, complete with cushions to provide a comfortable reading experience. If you peer closely at the tree, you will see apples. Every child that completes 1,000 books before kindergarten will be able to place a personalized apple on the tree.
The Greenwich Workshop, a fine arts publisher in Seymour, downsized its inventory and donated a collection from its fine art book division. The Greenwich Workshop policy is “to explore – through the eyes of today’s leading artist – significant moments in history, the realm of myth and imagination, and the wonders of the natural world.”
Come to the bookstore to purchase (for $1 or $2) some of the finely illustrated books on display. The books cover various topics, all with lovely illustrations. It would be hard to find a more beautiful gift at these prices. For more books and prints, visit the Greenwich Workshop website.
The Friends of the Library rely on the donation of clean, odor-free books, DVDs, CDs, and jigsaw puzzles. Books must be free of dust, dampness, mildew, musty, or smoking odors, as these conditions can spread throughout our collection. Books kept in a basement or garage are often damp and cannot be sold but are discarded.
Donations may be dropped off whenever the library is open; there is a donation basket and table inside the front entrance to the library. Please do not leave books outside the library, as they may be stolen or damaged.
The Friends receive more donations than it is possible to store. When this occurs, we first try to sell the books, with a policy to re-gift overflow to charities. Please let us know if you know of a charity that could use extra books.
Some charities that have recently received donations from the Friends:
- New Haven Reads
- Local shelters
- Books to Prisons
- Books to the Navajo Nation
Books to Prisons
Recently, the Friends established contact with Yale Law School, whereby some of our overflow books are sent to prisons within Connecticut. The donated books do not contain violence but focus on classic novels, art books, spiritual and reference books, poetry, sports, and self-help books.
Books to the Navajo Nation
Samantha Austin, a nurse practitioner in the Navajo Nation in Arizona and daughter of Friends’ volunteer Cathy Austin, has set up a Little Free Library using donations the Friends have sent. Here is a part of Samantha’s note:
“…Your contribution significantly enriches the lives of those who pass through our little corner of the neighborhood. Individuals of all ages stop by, smiling as they peruse the collection you’ve helped curate. From the little girls who stop by every day off the school bus, the families with young kids who say the library is the best part of their day, to the others in the hospital who tell me they stop by every week for a new book, the donations are valued. Our closest library is over an hour away, so book access is much appreciated. Your generosity has stocked our shelves and filled our hearts for fostering a love for reading within our community in the Navajo Nation.”
Become a Sponsor
The Woodbridge Town Library is a community treasure that provides resources and services to residents of all ages.
One way to support the library is to become a sponsor and fund a particular project that helps the library address needs that arise that are beyond the town budget. If you would like to be a sponsor, please contact the Friends at firstname.lastname@example.org or (203) 389-3493
Your support helps ensure the Woodbridge Town Library is a vibrant and welcoming place for all. Thank you!
We have a small, dedicated crew of volunteers who manage the bookstore and organize events such as book sales. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact: email@example.com.
Friends of the Library Board
President: Mia Von Beeden
President Emeritus: Mary Lee Barker
Vice President: Elizabeth Orsini
Co-Treasurers: Cathy Austin & Donna Lehman
Corresponding Secretary: Dale Chodos
Bookstore Phone: 203.389.3493
Thank you as always for your support!