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.
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.
Annual membership gift:
- Student and Senior Friend $5
- Friend $10
- Family Friend $20
- Best Friend $50
- Corporate Friend $200
Download our FOML Membership application or stop by the Library Shop at Main where they are available.
All Friends of Main Library members may attend the board meetings. Meetings are currently held monthly on the 2nd Monday at 6 p.m. in a meeting room at Main Library. For additional information call 330-643-6081.
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, and the Main Library group became Main Library Friends; and later, 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.
In 1988, the Friends funded a project to encourage children to write poetry.
In 2000, the Friends of Main worked 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 2005, the Friends of Main Library opened its "Library Shop at Main", a used book and gift shop in the newly remodeled Main Library. In 2016 it moved to the second floor of the building. The Library Shop at Main offers visitors to downtown Akron an affordable bookstore that is open seven days a week.
In 2008, the Friends of Main Library sponsored, in conjunction with The Tuesday Musical Association, the dedication reception of the new Steinway Grand Piano.
In 2017, the Friends of Main Library and its Shop at Main continued to support the Akron Summit County Public Library Main Event Speaker Series by participating in two nationally-known author presentations which drew over four hundred patrons each night in a single one-week period.
The Friends of Main Library funds go to support many library programs and related projects such as:
- Main Library Summer Reading Program
- Books for Babies
- Main Event Speaker Series
- Steinway Grand Piano
FOML Awards & Honors
- Friends of Libraries USA- in the category of Most Literary Appeal -1989
- Ohio Library Council -Ohio Friends of the Library Recognition Award- 2000
- Project:LEARN of Summit County- Civic Literacy Leadership Award- 2003
FOML Board of Directors
Ann Otto, President
Michael Taucher, Vice President
Nancy Baxter, Treasurer
Dana Beezley-Kwasnicka, Secretary
Pam Hickson-Stevenson, Director, Ex-Officio member
Patty Marsh, Downtown Services Manager, Ex-Officio member
Interested in becoming a board member? The only requirements are to be a current Friends of the Main Library member, and a desire to serve. Volunteer forms for the board, the Library Shop at Main and assisting in sorting donated materials are available in the Library Shop at Main.