Our FOL president presented a request in writing to the library board of directors at their March meeting to allow the FOL to resume in-person meetings beginning in April.  With their blessings we are once again able to return to  holding our monthly meetings in person beginning April 13, 2021. The pandemic is still ongoing, but with the vaccination process against Covid-19 we are confident it will be safe to resume these in-person meetings, but still allow for use of coronavirus safety protocols. Anyone attending will be required to wear a facemask regardless of vaccination status and social distancing will still be adhered to as long as state mandated.  

Mt. Sterling Friends of the Library are once again offering our annual academic Marjorie Hanson Memorial Scholarship. Applications are available at our library and also at the Madison Plains High School library. The $1,500 scholarship is sponsored by the Hanson Family in their mother’s name. Marjorie was an active advocate for our library and local schools and instilled the importance of reading and education in her children. The deadline to return applications into the Friends of the Library is May 1, 2021. Pick up a scholarship application packet to get the full details on eligibility and requirements. 

We recently held our February Video Chat in our Messenger group and made great strides on upcoming activities. This was our second such “meeting” and it was very productive. We also welcomed a new member, Holly Drake! Holly is very excited to join us and has lots of great ideas. We have now established several things in the works in place of having our Annual Victorian Tea.

  1. We will have a Tea Time Take and Make Craft to give out to to children in two age groups. These kits are coming together and will be made available very soon in the next few days to come. Younger children can enjoy a simple Teapot to decorate on paper  and older children can partake in assembling their own tea cup and saucer set made from cardstock. 
  2. We will be sending out a beautiful letter to past attendees of our Annual Victorian Tea. This letter will contain a lovely tea bag gift with an invitation to give a donation to the Friends of the Mt. Sterling Public Library. 
  3. We will be holding a Virtual Victorian Tea Time. Everyone will be invited to join us via Zoom in their Victorian Tea attire such as a hat and or blouse/dress/suit. We will be share stories and memories of our past Victorian Tea times. Also planned is a segment on proper tea table settings, tea etiquette, possibly a live auction of some tea related items, a show and tell section for anyone wishing to share pictures, tea sets, tea themed decor, clothing, or toys, etc. We will invite you to sit with us with while we all enjoy an afternoon tea time. A live auction will be held of themed baskets and tea related items. 

Recently our member Bev Kern secured a generous donation through a bid on a beautiful quilt (see photo above). The quilt pattern is called “California” and was pieced together by Master Quilter Donna Kidd. Donna is also a former fiber arts professor from Bluffton, Ohio. The bid generated $300 from an anonymous donor.  We wish to send a huge Thank You to both the quilt maker and the bidder for having such huge hearts.

We lost our only male member on November 23, 2020. Jim Barnette succumbed to Covid-19 after a very brief period of illness. Please join us in giving condolences and love to his wife Jeanne, a member of our group. Our hearts go out to Jeanne and her family as she continues to grieve the loss of Jim. He was a great person who volunteered many hours helping us with projects and ideas and attended every monthly meeting when he and Jeanne joined. He will be missed by us all. 

If you are interested in learning more about the Mt. Sterling Friends of the Library, we encourage you to read the information contained on this page as a summary of our efforts in recent years. You may also ask any of our active members for more information or reach our to our group president or other officers. Our officers and currently active members are as follows:

President: Melissa Reece                                                                                      Vice President: Heidi Fletcher              Secretary: Casey O’Neill                                                                                        Treasurer: Angela McFarland                  Our currently active members include Linda Clemans, Lynn Messner, Peggy Vincent, Pam Recko, Bev Kern, Jeanne Barnette, and Holly Drake. 

Below you will find a reverse sequence of our monthly events going as far back as assistant librarian and longtime FOL member, Melissa Reece, began keeping track of them on the library website. We hope this gives you lots of insight on the many activities and fundraisers we have done over the years. 
With no urgent or pressing business matters to handle at the time, it was decided that the Friends of the Library would forego in-person meetings from September 2020 through April 2021. Whenever we found it necessary to hold a meeting it has been announced both here and on library social media. For now we still address anything necessary through the FOL group chat on Facebook Messenger. We will continue voting on decisions and communicating in this manner whenever necessary outside of our regular monthly in-person meetings. We are currently selling handmade facemasks at Two Hands Coffee Cafe located at 48 W. Columbus St. We have reduced the price on all remaining facemasks down to $2.00 for each until we deplete the remainder of our supply. Look for the post on our website. Please share it on your social media as we have. Don’t forget to support the library through our FOL “store”, which is located inside the glass display sales case in the library next to the first table and between the audio book section and the adult non-fiction. We welcome new members as always and encourage you to bring your ideas and suggestions.
To celebrate National Friends of the Library Week in October, 2020 we provided a “Grab-n-Go” bag activity for our community. We created 24 black lunch size bags with a miniature pumpkin and pumpkin shaped sugar cookie purchased from Lohstroh Family Farm, and a water color paint set. Each bag also came with instructions on how to participate in a mini-pumpkin painting contest in different categories. The winners are captured in the photo above. This was our first time offering a grab-n-go craft or activity. It was great fun with many participants. We purchased gift cards from local businesses for the winners.  These businesses included Mad Hatter, Sterling Pharmacy, Two Hands Coffee Cafe, and Urban Pineapple. With this activity we were able to support and promote 5 different businesses.
Our July 2020 meeting was our first in-person meeting since the state  mandated shutdown. We had to have a limit of 10 people present per state regulation during the global pandemic. Our scholarship winner was present and spoke to the group on her future plans. We discussed how to move forward and what we will do for the remainder of the year, and also while the spread of Covid-19 is still so prevalent. 
Our June 9, 2020 meeting was held through our Messenger group chat. A scholarship winner was chosen and updates from the library were shared.
March 10, 2020 was the last physical meeting held of the Friends of the Library  prior to shutdown due to the pandemic.  We had several ideas for fundraising for the year we had planned to follow up on, but are suspended now due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The February 2020 meeting included review of our 9th Annual Victorian Sweetheart Tea, which had just occurred the weekend prior. We established a committee for an author showcase we are planning to present this year. The date is TBD. We are researching other ideas for fundraising events as well.
Our January 2020 meeting was a great start to the new year. We recognized and thanked outgoing president Linda Clemans, as well as our steadfast Secretary, Casey O’Neill with a presentation of floral arrangements.
Thank you to all those who attended the library Christmas party in December of 2020. It is an annual event that is brought together by the library board members that includes the staff and the Friends of the Library members.
Our November 2019 meeting resulted in election of new members, effective at the next meeting. The new officers are as follows:

President: Melissa Reece

V. President: Heidi Fletcher

Secretary: Casey O’Neill

Treasurer: Angela McFarland

In October of 2019, we celebrated National Friends of the Library week. We invited the public to join us for our “Bring a Friend, Make a Friend” event! All that came into Two Hands Coffee on Tuesday, October 22 between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. were greeted, told about what this organization is all about, and given a complimentary free coffee and dessert on us! Thank you to those that came in to show their interest and support in learning more about our organization and mission, and thank you to Two Hands Coffee for partnering with us!
We hosted a fun Wood & Wine Workshop on the afternoon of Sunday, October 13, 2019 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Mt. Sterling American Legion Post 417.  This was a pallet board paint party where we  painted a dual sided board with a fall theme and winter theme. All profits went to the Mt. Sterling Friends of the Library.
At the August meeting we welcomed new member Angela McFarland and new members Jeanne & Jim Barnett. We extend a warm welcome and are so happy to have them all join us in our mission to support, maintain, and retain our historical library as the cornerstone of our community.
Mt. Sterling Friends of the Library (FOL) hosted their first Patriotic Summertime Sip & Paint on Sunday, June 30, 2019 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at American Legion Post 417. The post is located at 28 Clark Ave. off of W. Main St. in Mt. Sterling. 
In the summer of 2019 we opted not to meet in the months of June and July as we had no upcoming events scheduled after the Patriotic Summertime Sip & Paint Party for the summer. 
During our May of 2019 meeting, which was held one week earlier than the normally scheduled meeting, we reviewed and chose a winner for the annual Marjorie Hanson Memorial Scholarship. We had many fine entries for the award and ultimately decided on Trevor Null. Many of the Friends of the Library members attended the Madison Plains scholarship banquet where FOL President Linda Clemans presented Trevor with his award package.
Also at the May 2019 meeting the FOL welcomed new member Bev Kern. Bev is no stranger to our library, as she was once a member of the library Board of Directors and the Mt. Sterling Community Museum. She has also been a long-time member of the library’s ‘Around Town’ Book Club. Bev was a Professor and is now a retired English and French teacher from the Westfall school district. We are so happy to welcome Bev to our membership roster as an integral part of the group.
The group is excited to have new members join in our mission!  Membership is open to men and women of all ages who have an interest in helping to sustain and maintain the library through our many fundraising events throughout the year. There are never any membership fees. We look forward to gaining momentum in our mission this year with our additional membership!
We hosted our first Summertime Patriotic Sip & Paint at American Legion Post 417 on Sunday, June 30, 2019. Subscribe to the library events on Facebook and follow our library on Instagram, where you will see flyers like that event and all the activities that both the library and the Friends of the Library have going on.
We had a great time with the turnout at the Sip and Paint class on Sunday, December 2, 2019 at the American Legion Post 417. The class ran from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Cost was $30 per person and included all materials needed and an interactive lesson from the class instructor, Mary Davis. Assorted finger foods and beverages were available for freewill donations. This is always such a fun event!
Thank you to all those who purchased from our school design Christmas ornament sale in 2018 & 2019. You had the choice from Madison Plains, Westfall, Miami Trace, Washington Courthouse, and OSU. All proceeds benefited programs and materials at the Mt. Sterling Public Library.
Our hearts are broken from the recent loss of our beloved and long-time Treasurer, Beverly Bobo on April 4, 2018.  Thank you to everyone who has donated to us in her name.  Donations by Bev’s family and friends were made to the Mt. Sterling Friends of the Library, in memory of Beverly Bobo. A memorial bench honoring her many years of dedicated service to the library can be seen at the library entrance.
The Friends would like to take this opportunity to stress to our community the need is even greater now than ever for new members to join the Friends of the Library organization. This organization was established over 13 years ago, and is nationally recognized. Currently, it is the same few people and a few of the library staff members that are making these events and activities possible. Please take this opportunity to find your calling in volunteering for such an outstanding and worthy organization!
If you would like to help, participate, or donate to our cause for any event, fundraiser, or activity, please contact Melissa Reece at the library on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons @ 740.869.2430 or attend the next meeting! We would love your support!
RUN BY THE FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY (FOL), A VARIETY OF SMALL ITEMS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE FROM THE MINIATURE DISPLAY CASE INSIDE THE LIBRARY. ALL PROCEEDS BENEFIT LIBRARY MATERIALS AND PROGRAMS. We now have several members handcrafting beautiful and seasonal items that they donate for FOL profits.

~Overview~

Friends of the Library organizations are recognized nationally.  The local group was established approximately 13 years ago.  The function of the organization is to raise awareness of the library’s needs, and fundraising for such needs.  This is a voluntary organization.  New members are always needed, especially active members.  Our group has given tens of thousands in donations to the library both monetary and in materials. Bring your friends and your ideas and join us for a worthy cause!

MEETINGS~EVENTS~ACTIVITIES~

Meetings are generally held the 2nd Tuesday of each month, at 6:30 PM in the library, but there are exceptions based on a more convenient time to the group, weather, holidays, other activities, or time sensitive matters.
Meetings are open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend. We are seeking new members to attend and expand our committee meetings with fresh ideas for fundraising events. We have lots of fun while supporting the library! We purchase much necessary equipment, supplies, materials, and financially support events and programs. Come and share your talents. Make the library your favorite place to join your favorite friends! If you are unable to attend, but would otherwise like to serve on a committee, become a member of our organization, or join in the fundraising efforts, please up a form at the library on the community bulletin board, or call the President of the Friends of the Library, Linda Clemans @ 740-505-0887. We always need new friends! This is an opportunity to support your community and feel rewarded by doing so in watching our progress.
We had a great turnout of support for our 8th annual Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser several years ago.  We had been holding this event as a main fundraiser for the library since our second year of inception.  This was the third year we held it at The United Church.  A special thank you to David and Judy Lucas, and Mary and Tim Alkire for their organization and running the kitchen, donations of items, and especially Judy’s many unique and handcrafted items she created and donated to the silent auction!  They made our roles so much easier!  Unfortunately, due to aging membership and our help stepping down, we had to opt not to continue with this event because of the need for manpower outweighing what we could provide by ourselves.
A few years ago we were able to bring our local Friends of the Library (FOL) group up to date with our counterparts, by observing National Friends of the Library Week. With more active members in the future, it is our hope to participate in such things that are relevant to our organization’s mission.
Mt. Sterling Friends of the Library finally acquired what most all FOL groups have- a true Sales Display!  In the fall of 2014, we purchased a case to display all our new items to sell. Among the items for sale are notecards with the library’s picture, book marks, mugs, book totes, and t-shirts.  We are so excited to be able to provide these items to our community!  All proceeds benefit library programs, materials and equipment.
*Also new for the first time, a new and used book sale was held at the library during National Friends of the Library Week in 2014.  We hoped this was just the first of an annual event, but will tweak it to be one day of used books only.  It was a lot of work for our small group. Your local Friends of the Library group will now be on par with all the other Friends of the Library groups by holding such an event for the public once we figure out a streamlined way to collect donations in the future.  Currently we do not have the space to accommodate storing such donations to even begin holding an annual used book sale.  It is a traditional staple of Friends of the Library groups to hold book sales to help raise funds to support their local libraries.  We hope you attend any future sales and find something to purchase to help us support the library. With new membership we could acquire this standard.
As pictured, the Friends of the Library offer shirts for sale to show your support of your library.  If interested in purchasing, contact the library, or attend any of our meetings or events and notify a FOL member.

2018 Events:

January – Annual Planning
February 17 – Annual Victorian Sweetheart Tea from 2-4 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church
April – Pancake Breakfast fundraiser to replace annual spaghetti dinner
June – Sponsor Summer Reading Activities
July – Community Yard Sale on the library lawn during Community Days Festival
August 12 – Annual Cincinnati Reds Baseball trip
September – Bench Dedication
September -December Christmas bulb sale
December – Annual Paint Mixer Fundraiser

2017 Events

January – Annual planning
February 13 – 6th Annual Victorian Tea from 2-4 PM at the First United Methodist Church
March 14 – Annual Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser at the United Church
June – FOL sponsoring PT Reptiles program & donating toy giveaways for Community Days
August 6 – Cincinnati Reds Bus Trip Fundraiser
September  24 – Fall Paint Mixer

2016 Events:

January – Paint Mixer fundraiser at the American Legion Hall
February 13 – 5th Annual Victorian Tea from 2-4 PM at the United Methodist Church
March 11 – Annual Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser at the Mt. Sterling United Methodist Church
June – Hold a duck pond booth at the annual Let Freedom Ring celebration
August 21 – Fundraiser trip to Cincinnati Reds ballgame on luxury liner bus
October 2 – Fall Paint Mixer at the American Legion Hall
December – Baked goods booth at Town Hall for Christmas in the Village

2015 Events:

February 7 – 4th Annual Victorian Tea from 1-3 PM at the United Methodist Church
March 13 – Annual Spaghetti Dinner from 5-7 PM at the United Church.  This was our first year holding at a different location, and it went very smoothly.
April 18 – Paint Mixer fundraiser at the American Legion Hall
April 24-April 30 – Paparrazi Jewelry online fundraiser sale
May 1- Deadline for Marjorie Hanson Memorial Book Scholarship applications
October 18 through 24 – National Friends of the Library Week
November 14 – Annual Holiday Fashion Show Luncheon at the First Church of the Nazarene. This year we plan to have a “family-style” fashion show.  Featuring children, men, and women, we will showcase fashions from more than one place.

2014 Events:

March 22 – 3rd Annual Victorian Tea from 1-3 PM at the United Methodist Church
April 25 – Annual Spaghetti Dinner from 5-7 PM at the First Church of the Nazarene
May 5 – Deadline for Marjorie Hanson Memorial Book Scholarship applications
October 19 through 25 – National Friends of the Library Week
Saturday, November 8 – Annual Holiday Fashion Show Luncheon at the First Church of the Nazarene
November – Annual Holiday Live-Wreath Workshop

2013  Previous Events:

February 17 – 2nd Annual Victorian Tea
March 15 – Annual Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser at the Nazarene Church
August 10 – Annual Community Yard Sale and Library Centennial Celebration and Bookmobile launch
November 16 – 5th Annual Holiday Fashion Show Luncheon
December 14 – 2nd Annual Live Wreath Making Class…located at the United Methodist Church at 2:00 PM, cost is $25 each.

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Referencing photos above, the Friends of the Library hosted the 2nd Annual Victorian Sweetheart Tea on Sunday, February 17, 2013 from 4-5:30 PM. The event was held once again at Ben & Joy’s Diner during open dining hours, this time with seating in the Sterling Room. The event was so successful the first year that the Angel Room was filled to capacity.
Tickets were sold at the Library and at the door for $7.50 each. Those in attendance enjoyed the ambiance with servers dressed in Victorian style clothing and hats serving a menu of Tea sandwiches, a variety of flavored teas, and homemade Victorian strawberry pie while old fashioned music played softly in the background. Victorian clothing and hats were optional and category door prizes were awarded to the oldest and youngest attendees, as well as the attendee that traveled the farthest to attend the event.

Some of the 2012 scheduled events were:

August 25 – Annual Community Yard Sale & Patron Appreciation Picnic
November 18 – 4th Annual Holiday Fashion Show Luncheon
December 6 – Live Wreath Making Class fundraiser
December 16 – Assist with the Annual Old Fashioned Christmas Open House at the Museum
Check the Library Events under the Library Information tab and the Library Facebook page for details.

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