Akron Main Library's atrium and auditorium from Main Street

Friends of Main Library

The Friends of Main Library (FOML) supports the goals of the Akron-Summit County Public Library with programming and resources. The Friends operates the Library Shop at Main, helps underwrite the Library operating levy campaign, and supports other Library initiatives.

The Friends of Main Library funds go to support many library programs and related projects. Some are:

  • Main Event Speaker Series
  • Summer Reading Program
  • Council of Friends Scholarship
  • Books for Babies

FOML members receive:

  • A copy of the Library's newsletter, ShelfLife.
  • A copy of the Library Shop at Main E-News, if an email address has been provided.
  • A 15% discount on all regularly-priced purchases at the Library Shop at Main.

Meeting Schedule:

All members may attend the board meetings. Meetings are currently held quarterly at 6 pm in a meeting room at Main Library. A program may be part of the Annual Meeting. Additional programs may be scheduled. For specific meeting dates, please call 330.643.9072.

Dues Structure:

Annual membership gift:

  • Student and Senior Friend $5
  • Friend $10
  • Family Friend $20
  • Best Friend $50
  • Corporate Friend $200

FOML Membership application forms are available in the Library Shop at Main.

 

History of Friends of Main Library

The Friends of the Libraries of Akron and Summit County was founded in 1953. In 1964, the group renamed itself Friends of the Library; in 1974, the name was changed to the Friends of the Akron-Summit County Public Library. This Friends group represented the branches as well as Main Library.

Beginning in 1982, individual branches established their own Friends groups, leaving the Friends of Akron-Summit County Public Library to represent only Main Library. Later, this group was called Main Library Friends; and then, the Friends of Main Library.

The Friends of the Library held its first used, discarded and donated, book sale in 1972 at Summit Mall. Over the years, the Friends giant book sale was held at various malls. By the end of 1993, these sales had raised in total more than $125,000.

The giant book sales ended in December 1996, when the Friends of Main Library opened its "Library Shop on Main", a used book and gift shop, located on the lower level of Main Library. The shop provided for ongoing sales seven days a week.

In 2005 the Friends of Main Library opened the new Library Shop at Main on the first floor of the newly remodeled and expanded Main Library. Adjacent to the Library Cafe, the Library Shop on Main offers visitors to downtown Akron an affordable bookstore with a wide selection of unique gift items.

Of Special Note:

  • In 1988, the Friends funded a project to encourage children to write poetry. The Friends won an award in 1989 from the Friends of Libraries USA in their category of most literary appeal.
  • In 1990, the Friends sponsored their first Snowflake Sampler; this program included tours of the Library, holiday how-to-do's, films, stories, cookies and clowns for the children.
  • In 2000, the Friends of Main Library received the Ohio Friends of the Library recognition Award from the Ohio Library Council. The award recognized the group's work as advocates of the library to the inner city, as fund raisers to support library projects and programs, as promoters of the library to the downtown business community and the public at-large, and as promoters of the levy campaign.
  • In 2003, the Friends of Main Library were honored with Project:LEARN of Summit County's Civic Literacy Leadership Award. The Friends were honored for their support of Project:LEARN through the years, both financially and educationally. The FOML participate in Project:LEARN events and offers discounts to tutors and students at its Library Shop on Main.
  • In 2005 the Friends of Main Library opened the new Library Shop at Main on the first floor of the newly remodeled and expanded Main Library and in 2016 it moved to the second floor of the building. The Library Shop at Main offers visitors to downtown Akron an affordable bookstore with a wide selection of unique gift items.
  • In 2008, the Friends of Main Library sponsored, in conjunction with Tuesday Musical, the dedication reception of the new Steinway Grand Piano.

FOML Board of Directors

Jim Switzer, President

Ellen McIntyre, Vice-President

Harriett J. Calcagno, Treasurer

Susan Sawyer, Secretary & Immediate Past President

Jim Aldridge

Jan Michael

Sue Michael

Laurie Piekarski

Mike Piekarski

Shirley Washington

Carla Davis, (advisor), ASCPL Marketing Communications Director

Board members and officers are elected at the Annual Meeting.
Board members serve a three (3) year term.