President’s Report on 2021

President’s Report on 2021

May 4, 2022

The best way to build a better world for our children is to fight for our public libraries.

Lois Hole

The Friends of St. Albert Public Library gather every year to reflect on the past calendar year, present our major donations, and look ahead to the next year. Our AGM on May 4, 2022 recaps our year from January to December of 2021.

Our year began with everyone curled up with a book at home, when we would usually be holding the winter Reel Monday season. The Arden Theatre had once again closed for a few months from December 2020 to early spring due to COVID measures, but the Friends continued our monthly virtual Zoom meetings.

From February to March, we held our first-ever Purdys Chocolatier fundraiser. Our fundraising committee signed up for the Purdys online system for St. Albertans to place orders for Easter treats, with the Friends profiting 25% of the sales. Through this fundraiser, we were able to donate an additional $1,200 to the children’s summer reading game above our usual $3,000 amount, totalling $4,200 for 2021! The children’s summer reading game featured both in-person and virtual programs – in true form with the new pandemic normal – and we felt that it was a great initiative to continue supporting.

Purdys chocolates pickup

We held our AGM in May of 2021, during which we recapped the 2020 year and elected our new executive team. Our new Board was formed by Graeme Matichuk as President, Marketing Chair, and Interim Treasurer; Verla Carter as Vice President; Sandy Fildes as Secretary; and Valerie Spink as Casino and Fundraising Chair. At this AGM, we donated $13,000 to Jensen Lakes Library, which capped off our total donation of $25,000 to the mini-library in St. Albert’s north end. These donations, from casino fundraising, paid for some of the furniture at Jensen Lakes Library.

We were thrilled to hold a fall Reel Monday season after the unusual winter season hiatus, with four films exploring a range of topics: The Father, The Public, French Exit, and In The Heights. The Public, in particular, was a heartwarming film for all the library supporters who attend Reel Monday season after season.

St. Albert Gazette review of a Reel Monday film

Our team gratefully acknowledges the discounts provided by the Arden Theatre and Criterion Pictures to allow us to maximize our donations to the Library. We appreciate our Reel Monday attendees who were patient with the ever-changing pandemic restrictions. All profits from Reel Monday will be donated to the STARFest Fall 2022 season.

We are also grateful for the Library Board and the staff of the Library, especially Leslie Greentree for promoting our events and Rhonda Kozuska for financial and administrative support.

Digital outreach initiatives continue to connect us with our supporters. We launched a Twitter presence in the fall of 2021, continued growing our Facebook page, increased our frequency of blog posts and website updates, and continued sending seasonal Story Lines email newsletters.

The Library introduced the opportunity for the Friends to donate toward the Library’s endowment fund – the St. Albert Future Fund – and we committed to donating $1,000 annually in support of this fund.

My endless gratitude goes to the Friends of the Library Board and Members who have maintained their dedication during some of the most difficult years. While so many Friends groups have dwindled during the pandemic, our team has grown closer and shown our love for the library in all the ways we can.

Graeme Matichuk

President, Friends of the Library

As a lifelong reader and library lover, I felt that joining the Friends of St. Albert Public Library was perfect for me. It means so much to me that as an organization, the members of Friends have contributed substantial funds to support the Library over many years. We’re a small group but we make a big difference!

Sandy Fildes, Friends Board Member/

Why did I join the Friends? To help promote the incredible value of the library to our community.

Joanne Root, Friends Member

The library has been a place of journeys for me for many years. First as a young reader growing up in Red Deer, the weekly trek to the library was one of my first solo outings. When our children came along, many years later, We introduced them to the joy of library outings through story times, and special events held there. Having the time now in retirement to join The Friends of the Library, has shown me that the library continues to be an essential service. People of all ages, backgrounds, and needs find help to connect with resources, learn new skills and meet new people.

Verla Carter, Friends Board Member

Interested in supporting the Friends?

We are a group of library lovers supporting the St. Albert Public Library.

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