FOSAPL Officers for 2021-2023 (l-r): Vice President Nancy Gandara, President John Costello, Secretary Karin Pedersen, Treasurer Barbara Morrow, Immediate Past President Beth Graham
ABOUT THE FRIENDS OF THE
SAN ANTONIO public LIBRARY (FOSAPL)
The Friends, inaugurated March 23, 1964, promote public use of the San Antonio Public Library and appreciation of its value as a cultural and educational asset to the community and encourage the extension and improvement of its services. [more below]
History of the Friends of the
San Antonio Public Library
The San Antonio Public Library has always had friends, but the official Friends Group was inaugurated on March 23, 1964, when a formal Charter was issued and signed by thirteen dedicated library supporting original Board Members.
The Friends of the San Antonio Public Library is a non-profit organization which supports the Public Library System through volunteer service, cultural and educational activities. The Friends give financial assistance to fund the continuing improvement of Library facilities and programs and serve as a conduit through which gifts and memorials go directly to your Library. Membership in the Friends is open to all.
Although money is not specifically mentioned in its Charter, the Friends contributed over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to the library during its first three decades, and at least fifty thousand dollars annually since then. In 1989, the Friends actively supported a campaign for the passage of a City Library and Literacy Bond Issue that passed and provided funding for the present central library as well as 12.7 million dollars for much needed Branch Library construction.
In the early nineties, while Gladys Leverett was
President of the Friends, she was instrumental in etablishing Branch Library and Special Interest Group Friends. Currently thirteen branches have official
Friends Groups as well as the Texana and Genealogy Friends and Writer Friends. Branch Groups have their own officers and hold regular meetings and fundraisers
to benefit their individual branches. The groups articipate in the activities of and support the precepts of the parent Friends of the Library.
In 1991, a city ordinance was passed allowing the
Friends to sell withdrawn library books and the City Manager approved the first Friends’ book sale held in Market Square. With Book Sale Chair Mary McAfee and
retired Assistant Library Director Gerry LeFavre and many volunteer worker Friends, $22,000.00 was made in four sale days. Because of that success, the Friends BookCellar was established and opened in the Hertzberg Museum supported by volunteers and one paid employee. When the Hertzberg was renovated in 1997, the Book Cellar moved to the new Central Library basement. Dedicated Library Friends from throughout the city volunteer to work in and operate the Book
Cellar on a daily schedule.
The Book Cellar, special book sales, membership dues, and donations are the main source of funds provided by the Friends in support of the City Library system. Through the years, these funds have fulfilled “wish list” needs for the library branches and funded innovative grants for special projects that the library could not otherwise afford. Money has been granted by
the Friends for library staff members to participate in Texas Library Association affairs, financing the Library Centennial poster project, and many thousands of dollars in generous support of Library Summer Reading Programs. The Friends President has a non-voting seat on the Library Foundation Board as well as the Library Board of Trustees.
One of the Friends most successful and rewarding projects is the Arts and Letters Award, designed to
recognize the literary and artistic talents and accomplishments of local residents. The award was first presented in 1972 to Janette Sebring Lowery for
her classic children’s book, The Pokey Little Puppy. The success of that first award affair prompted the Friends to create an annual event in which local talented individuals are honored with an Arts and Letters Award. Award
recipients to date are listed on the Arts & Letters Awards page.
Organizing a Friends Support Group
Libraries need friends throughout their community
service areas to assure that the public is aware of the programs and services provided by the library system. As Friends, our support has always been system
wide. However, some members want the opportunity to play a more active role in helping their individual branch library by forming a Friends organization where they can volunteer time, talent, raise money, and support their branch as needed to assure that their library services are developed and publicized.
For assistance and guidance in forming a Friends branch support group, contact the President of the Friends for information leading to establishment of a new branch group. Call the President at the telephone number listed in the Membership Directory, or write to:
P.O. Box 461523
San Antonio, TX 78246
Friends Branch and Special Collections Support Groups
The FOSAPL Bylaws provide for the organization of
branch or other volunteer Friends support groups to support library branches or special association with or collections of the San Antonio Public Library. Current members of the Friends may serve with support groups of their choice.
Benefits of branch support group organizations are
outlined in the FOSAPL Standing Rules. Each branch group functions under their bylaws and standing rules as administered by their elected officers. They have
regular meetings with programs, hold book sales to benefit their individual branch, and participate in the activities of their library branch and their parent Friends of the Library. Branch members may serve as representatives to the FOSAPL Board of Directors. The location and volunteer membership of the current branch and special interest groups are listed below and on the following pages. All addresses are for San Antonio area. For information about each branch, contact a Branch Officer at his or her telephone number listed (where
allowed) in the general membership directory.
Friends standing committees are established by the
Board of Directors to perform specific functions prescribed by the Standing Rules. Member volunteer service with committees is encouraged and provide
valuable insight into the activities and membership of the Friends. For further details, see the Standing Rules elsewhere in the Directory. Current standing
Book Cellar Committee
A 10-member committee for the management,
accountability, supervision, and operation of the Friends Book Cellar. A hired manager carries out the functions designated by the committee. Volunteer service
with the Book Cellar is open to all members and provides a most important service to the support of the Friends. Volunteer service time is adjustable to meet individual availability, and free parking is provided. For further
information, call (210) 227-9519 during Book Cellar hours.
Responsible for timely gathering of official
notices, and news items about Friends membership and Branch Friends, for edit, publishing, and distribution of our bi-monthly SAPlings newsletter.
Honorary Chair - Lyn Belisle, Chair - TBD
Arts and Letters Award Committee
Responsible for the recruitment of nominees for and
their selection as recipients of FOSAPL annual Arts and Letters Awards, and the administration and conduct of an appropriate award presentation ceremony and reception.
Appointed annually by the President to select
nominees as officers and members of the Board of Directors, to be responsible for the conduct of their election, and to count ballots during the annual
January meeting of the Friends.
Managing Editor - Alana Woods
Library Friends Advocacy Organizations
These organizations have a common goal and each is important in helping Library Friends to be advocates for our Libraries. FOSAPL is an active member of FOLUSA. For more information about these organizations, call the number listed.
Friends of Libraries USA (FOLUSA). The mission is to motivate and support state and local Friends groups across the country in their efforts to preserve and strengthen libraries, assist in developing Friends
groups, provide guidance, education and counsel on issues and concerns relevant to Friends and Libraries, serve as a clearinghouse of information and expertise,
establish Literary Landmarks of historical literary significance around the country and promote reading and literacy. (1-800-936-5872).
The purpose of the Library Friends, Trustees,
and Advocates Round Table (LIFTA) of the Texas Library Association is to enable Library Friends, trustees and other advocates to promote and foster the
development of library services, and the exchange of ideas, experiences and information-providing programs. (1-800-580-2852).
Friends of Libraries and Archives of Texas
advocate and promote statewide services and collections of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and foster the development and growth of local Library groups in support of local libraries and archives of Texas. For information call (1-512-463-5514).