The Friends of the Uniontown Public Library is open to all persons, eighteen years or older, interested in the purposes of our organization.
We strive to foster closer relationships between the Uniontown Public Library and the public, inform the public of the resources and services available, stimulate interest in and support of our Library and its activities; and raise funds for the purchase of books and services.
We are proud to announce that the Friends of the Library donates more than $10,000 to the Library each year.
To read the information about these topics, click on the topic title below. Clicking on the same title or a new one, will close the open topic.
History of the Friends of the Library
(with some revisions made in 7/2008)
The Friends of the Uniontown Public Library, a nonprofit, all volunteer organization, was founded as an auxiliary to provide additional programs and channel supplemental public support into the library. The library had been operated by a community group, The Uniontown Library Association, since 1927.
After the Association sold its building and assets to the City of Uniontown in 1966 coincident with construction of a new building, the Friends provided the continuity of volunteer service.
On March 31, 1967, the executive board of the new Friends met at the home of President Jo Hook Ruse to organize and plan for the future. They were functioning when the new building opened in 1970. Since then the Friends have promoted library usage with special programs and services of many different kinds, for both adults and children, but including a special emphasis on reading by children. In this, they continue to carry out the service to young people set forth by the founder of the first "reading room," The Women's Civic League in 1912.
Through the years the Friends of the Library have raised thousands of dollars annually for the purchase of new books, equipment and supplies much of which could not have been obtained in any other way. The climax for years of hard work and dedication came in 1986, when the Friends received an Award of Merit from the Pennsylvania Citizens for Better Libraries as the "Best Community Library Support Group" in the state. The award was won in open competition with libraries throughout Pennsylvania, including metropolitan areas.
When Gov. Casey came to Uniontown for his "Capital for a Day" program, the Friends hosted a luncheon for his wife Ellen (on 24 hours notice). The Friends sponsored publication of "Our Uniontown," a brief history written by the late Jean Brownfield and illustrated by Eleanor Ulmer. They received nationwide acclaim for publication of an index of the sixteen volumes of the Colonial Records of Pennsylvania, undertaken by one of its members, the late Dr. Mary Dunn. This was the first time this huge task had ever been undertaken; the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission accepted a copy with thanks and praise.
Annually in February or March, the Friends of the Library send out a letter requesting donations to help fund our work at the Uniontown Public Library. This has been a very successful campaign that allows us to contribute thousands of dollars to the library for the purchase of books and other materials. With the cutbacks in funding, the semi-annual donations made by the Friends are vital to building the library's collection. We could not provide such generous assistance without donations from the public.
Each summer, children flock to the library for special programs. All children are accepted, whatever their residence, for a mixture of fun and a gentle push toward more reading. For many years, the Friends and other community volunteers entertained the children with storytelling, music and crafts during this annual summer program. In 2002, the shift was made to providing outside entertainment and educational presentations for the summer program. Once again, the Friends of the Library stepped up to help with funding and volunteers.
The Scholastic Book Fair. which has been sponsored annually by the Friends of the Library since the 1980s, provides an opportunity for children to be rewarded with a free prize coupon to shop at the Book Fair for reading a designated number of books during the summer.
The Perpetual Used Book Sale which has raised so much money for the cause continues from its own niche on the first floor of the library. The Friends also have other items for sale to help fund activities and book purchases at the library. This year we have a selection of mugs and tote bags available for purchase.
Past Presidents of the Friends of the LIbrary
Dr. Mary Dunn
Mrs. Vincent Ross
Jo Hook Ruse
Friends of the Library Fundraisers
Tote bags in two styles are also available
We are selling 2013 "Dining with Friends" restaurant coupon books. They sell for $20 each and are available at the Library's front desk. This is our third year for this very successful fundraiser.
Annual Drive of the Friends of the Library
The Friends of the Uniontown Public Library meets on the second Monday of each month, September through June, at 1:00 PM in the second floor meeting rooms of the Uniontown Public Library. Any interested person is welcome to attend.
If you have any questions about the Friends of the Uniontown Public Library, please email our current president.
Mugs & Book Bags for Sale by the Friends
Click here to visit United for Libraries, the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations. The Uniontown Friends of the Library is a member of United for Libraries.