Focus on Friends - Friends of the Margate Catharine Young Branch Library
The Margate Library (now The Margate Catharine Young Branch), was established in 1963 in the Margate City Hall, in a small room -- some say it was a really a closet! On October 9, 1978, the present building at 5810 Park Drive was dedicated and opened to the public, and on October 1, 1979, the library became part of the Broward County Library System. The branch is named in honor of Catharine Young (now deceased), who was its first librarian.
A Friends of the Margate Library group has existed almost as long as the library itself. Mention of recorded minutes date back to April 30, 1974. The Friends of the Margate Library have always supported the library and its services to the public.
Book fairs offering used and donated items have been a staple of their fundraising efforts. Throughout the year, the Friends sponsor many concerts, lectures, book reviews and other cultural activities for thousands of residents.
For nearly 20 years, the group has sponsored a World Affairs series of lectures, with Ethne Chesterman, each October through May. To encourage youngsters to come to the library, the Friends have sponsored programs featuring magicians, storytellers and entertainers. To the delight of music lovers, the Friends have made it their special project to be sure the library's grand piano is tuned and in working order.
The group has provided funds for book kiosks, new stage curtains, a DVD machine, and paid for staff to travel to numerous professional workshops, and national and state library conventions.
As library advocates, Friends have meet with state legislators in Tallahassee to lobby for increased state aid to libraries, and have spearheaded campaigns to send letters and e-mails to local and state officials soliciting support for library bills and proclamations.
At the 2005 Friends of the Library Luncheon and Awards, the group won an award for "Support of Staff Who Do Not Have a Friends Group."
For more information about the Friends of the Margate Library, call 954-357-7500.
Opportunities for involvement in Friends groups exist at most Broward County Library branches. For information about other Friends groups, contact Friends of Broward County Libraries, Inc. at 954-357-7771.
Remember: Good Friends make Great Libraries!