The James V. Brown Library will spend the week of Oct. 21-27 recognizing its Friends of the Library group as part of the 12th annual celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week.

The Friends of the James V. Brown Library were established in 1956 by Robert P. Henry, a trade union worker who wanted to raise funds to help renovate the library. Since that time, the Friends group has grown from several community members to more than 425 members.

During the past five years, the Friends financial support for library programs and facilities has totaled nearly $125,000.

The 17-member board is led by four officers: Ardythe Cross, president; Chuck Featherstone, vice president; Nancy Berkheimer, treasurer; and Mary Beth Kibbe, secretary.

An annual contribution of $20 is all that is required to become a Friend of the James V. Brown Library. More importantly, it helps support and sustain one of Lycoming County’s cultural treasures – the James V. Brown Library. Family memberships are $35.

A membership to the Friends helps the library serve more than 500 people daily with its collection of high-quality materials in various formats for all ages; reduce the rate of illiteracy in Lycoming County; support the needs of area students for career information; provide access to online information for people of all ages and incomes; and assist all residents of Lycoming County in meeting their lifelong learning goals.

Members receive a bi-monthly newsletter with upcoming events, early notice of special events, access to the Friends-only preview at book sales and specials at Friends Book Store, which is located on the third floor of the Welch Children’s Wing.

Members of the Friends volunteer as book sorters, assist the library with mailings, volunteer at the Friends Favorites store and plan and organize the spring and fall book sales. The fall sale, which was held Sept. 20-22, raised more than $8,000 for the Friends organization, which will be kept in the community to assist the library with special programming, services and building maintenance.

“The Friends of the James V. Brown Library are essential to the life of the library,” said Barbara McGary, executive director of the library. “They are a great group of people who care deeply about making a genuine impact in our community.

“If you want an opportunity to give back to your community, please consider becoming a member of the Friends,” McGary said. “That is why I am a member, and so are many of our library staff. The Friends not only raise much-needed funds for the library, but they are fun, inspirational and work well together to bring cultural programs to our community. The library is so grateful for the partnership that we have with the Friends. We would be less without them.”

To become a member of the Friends, visit to join online, or stop by the help desk or book store for a membership form.

The National Friends of Libraries Week is coordinated by United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information, visit

The James V. Brown Library is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; and 24/7 at