By Cynthia Petersen
What would the world be like if we didn’t have friends to support and encourage us to do our best? Fortunately, it’s a question the Hiawatha community doesn’t have to spend too much time thinking about.
Hiawatha resident, Phyllis Jones, who is a member of the Friends of the Hiawatha Public Library group, operates the Book Sale Room at the library, as well as an online book sale on their Facebook page.
The majority of the books are gently used and are from the most popular authors, but magazines, DVDs, music CDS, and magazines can be found in the room, as well.
“We carry magazines from the past few months and sell them for a quarter. If there is a particular magazine you love, we probably have it.”
Books in the book room are .50 for paperbacks and $1 for hard copy; children’s paperbacks are .25 and .50 for hard copy.
The price for items online vary, which also includes games and puzzles.
“I do my best to keep the Facebook page up-to-date,” said Jones. “The items are not kept at the library, but are stored elsewhere. I usually meet the buyers at the library to conduct business.”
“The Book Room is open when the library is open, and you pay at the front desk. We also accept donations at the front desk, as well.”
The books are donated by the library and from the public, as well as from area book stores that have too much inventory.
The group has even received old used books, such as an autographed copy of, In Cold Blood, signed by Truman Capote.
Diana Flander, president of the group, said the book sales fill in the gaps and purchases items the library’s budget isn’t able to, such as the Summer Reading Program.
“We give $2,000 a year to both the adult and the children’s programs for any items the librarians need to use outside of their budget,” said Flander. “We have also pledged $4,000 for the upcoming library expansion. We give our time, as well, and help acquire items sometimes without spending a dime.”
The group recently donated a puppet theater that one of the friends board members neighbor made.
“The children love it.”
The group meets monthly to keep tuned-in with requests that the library did not anticipate when it made up its budget, or perhaps did not have the funds for. The group also brainstorms ideas to help out the staff.
Flander said anyone who wants to learn more about the Friends of the Hiawatha Public Library are welcome to attend any of the meetings. Meetings are held the Third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm at the library. The next meeting will be held Feb. 21 at the library.
“We love to see new people attend,” she said.
You can join the group’s Facebook page by going to Book Friends 52233, Friends of the Hiawatha Library Books for Sale. Notifications are sent out whenever a new item is added.
Friends of Hiawatha Parks and Recreation Foundation
What you may not know is that the events are made possible, in part, thanks to the Friends of Hiawatha Parks and Recreation Foundation. The Foundation supports and promotes diversity and inclusiveness through a wide variety of programs and services in the Hiawatha community.
A variety of fundraisers throughout the year help support the Hiawatha Adventure Camp, as well as other recreation programs and park projects.
Hiawatha Adventure Camp is held for kids during the summer months and offers creative and structured play opportunities that serve as a tool to build new relationships, expose children to new experiences, and encourage fitness. These programs are available for children in Kindergarten through 8th grade.
Participants have the opportunity to go on field trips, make crafts, listen and learn from exciting speakers; participate in community service projects and various other fun activities.
The Friends of the Parks Foundation sponsors a variety of activities in Hiawatha, including Movies under the Moon, HiBRAI, 5K runs/walks, and several others.
HiBRAI, Hiawatha’s annual bike ride to Riverside, is held in August and will celebrate its 15th ride this year. The overnight excursion includes a stay at the Riverside casino, along with all the amenities the hotel has to offer.
Watch a movie in the Guthridge Park during the summer, courtesy of the Friends of the Park. Movies under the Moon will be held July 21 and Aug. 25.
New this year is a bus trip Aug. 16 to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Also new in 2017 is Santa’s Reindeer Run/Walk, which will be held Dec. 2 in Guthridge Park. Enjoy hot chocolate and coffee before dashing your way through the snow!
An annual membership drive will be held in February or March. For more information, visit the Hiawatha Parks & Recreation or Hiawatha Friends of the Parks Facebook pages.