The Friends of the Lewes Public Library, organized in 1980, is a separate 501(c)(3) group of volunteers who support the Library, its services, and programs through various activities, including fund raising events, volunteer support, programming support, and book sales. Funds are generated by memberships, annual book sales, shop sales, in-kind gifts, and grants.
Friends volunteers contribute 7,000 hours annually, the equivalent of 3.8 full-time employees. Most of these hours are dedicated to our annual book sale and to the operation of the Just Between Friends shop, located on the left after entering the Library.
The Lewes Public Library is an “independent library” within the Delaware Division of Libraries consortium. As such, the Lewes Public Library must raise about half of its annual operating funds each year. The Library has three principal funders. In order of contributions they are: Sussex County, State of Delaware, and Friends of Lewes Public Library. Friends, as the third largest funder of the Library and its largest private funder, contributed another 9%.
Friends contributed more than $300,000 toward the Library’s collection acquisitions, free community programs, capital campaign, operational expenses during fiscal years 2015 – 2021 and more than $500,000 over the past decade. Over the past five years, 97 cents of every dollar raised by the Friends went to the Library.
The Friends pay for 100% of the books added to the Library’s collection.
Among the items purchased or sponsored by the Friends are:
- Library book purchases
- All Large Print books
- Junior Library Guild books
- Books on CD, Playaways, and DVDs
- Library programming
- Seasonal decorating
- Special projects and miscellaneous Library needs
Support the Library by joining the Friends today.