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Board Members

Friends of the Library
Board Members

Officers 2015
Betsy Martin

Bonnie Rowbotham

Averil Townsley

Kerry Charlet

Lance Finney
Immediate Past-President

Donna Babb
Lillian Blessing
Charlene Balleine
Gail Borden
Karen Lean
Patricia Rose
Michael Workman

Executive Secretary
Susan Crawford

Library Staff Liaisons
Lisa Lilyquist
City Librarian

Rivanne Chasteen-Futch
Assistant City Librarian

Library Advocates


Friends of the Library of Lakeland, Inc.

The Friends of the Library of Lakeland, Inc. is dedicated to the promotion and enhancement of library services for the Lakeland Public Library and the Larry R. Jackson Branch Library. 

The Friends support the libraries in many ways, from presenting free public programs and funding new equipment, to staff training and the operation of library book sales.  In addition, the Friends serve as an advocate for adequate funding of public library services.


Friends of the Library Board Members
Top: Lance Finney, Lillian Blessing, Michael Workman, Kerry Charlet, Averil Townsley
Front: Bonnie Rowbotham, Betsy Martin, Donna Babb, Charlene Balleine
Not pictured: Gail Borden, Karen Lean, Patricia Rose

Direct support to the libraries on behalf of The Friends of the Library include some of the following:
- Ongoing book sales
- Book discussion groups: Books Sandwiched In, Discussions at the eLibrary
- Cultural performances
- Continuing education: opportunities for staff to attend workshops
- Equipment
- Children's programming: Summer Library Youth Program (FLYP) shows 
- Community events, such as Cracker Storytelling Festival
- Readers Advisory Magazine

Larger projects include:
2013 - New library furniture on the public service floor was installed at the Main Library in January.  $50,000 contribution.
2013 - New library furniture budgeted for the Larry Jackson Branch Library. $30,000 budget item - installed in October.

Pictured are just a few photos of the improvements at the Larry Jackson Branch Library ... stop by and see ALL the changes.

Enhanced space for children to browse books and relax with parents.


Updated seating for patrons waiting to access computers.


New bench seating for those browsing the adult collections.

The Friends purchased furniture for the training and tutor rooms, as well as new DVD shelving for the 2011 renovation project at the Main Library. Over $25,000 was contributed to the project.

The Larry Jackson Branch Library received new computer furniture for the Children's area and a Nursery Rhyme mural as part of the Friends of the Library projects to benefit the library system in 2008, and added to the computer furniture once again in 2009. Over $15,000 in contribution.

A Friends project in 2006 included the mural walls in the newly expanded and renovated Youth Services at the Main Library.

The Friends of the Library funded project completed in July 2004 was the Main Library's new swan sign at the corner of Palmetto and Lake Morton.

In the past Friends have contributed to special projects such as the renovation of the Main Library's Special Collections Unit. The new furniture and shelving associated were purchased by the Friends.

The Friends of the Library raise money through the sale of donated materials. The Friends’ Book Sale is managed by a core of very talented and dedicated volunteers. Donate your books, DVDs and magazines at  the Main Library.  If the Library does not use the items, the material is then sold by the Friends.

The Friends, a 501C3 tax-exempt non-profit organization, is pleased to accept monetary donations as well or memorial gifts.
The Friends cannot accept credit card donations - cash or checks only please.

Memberships are an important source of more than just income. Our members are the Library’s voice in the community.

Consider becoming a Friend of the Library. 

The Friends host a Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon and gift every year to let our volunteers know how much we value them. Volunteer hours account for 3-5 FTE (full-time equivalent) staff at the libraries.

Annual Meeting
Every November the entire membership is invited to attend the Annual Meeting. A typical agenda includes a year-end financial and statistical update, an informative program and lunch/refreshments. In 2014, the meeting was held Nov. 7 and Librarian Brenda Patterson reflected on the cultural and educational programs for adults that were/are underwritten by the  Friends of the Library of Lakeland.  In 2013, the meeting was held Nov.1 and featured Librarian Angel Davis' presentation on the FOL contributions to the Larry R Jackson Branch Library.

Inquiries can be directed to: 
Lisa Lilyquist, City Librarian