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City of Howard Lake Celebrates Friends' History

The Howard Lake City Council recognized the Howard Lake Friends of the Library for its fundraising and volunteer efforts by proclaiming Oct. 18- 24 to be "Howard Lake Friends of the Library Week."

The proclamation reflected the City's appreciation for the Friends' "positive civic engagement" leading to "the betterment of the [Howard Lake] community.” Additionally, Mayor Richard Lammers praised the work of the Friends for "highlighting on an ongoing basis the fact that the library is a cornerstone of the community."

Indeed , as the Herald Journal recently reported, the Howard Lake Friends "share a passion for improvement." There have been several auxiliary groups supporting the Library since its inception in 1905. The current group, which is comprised of about 30 members, was formed in 2004.

The first fundraiser organized by the current Friends was the Good Neighbor Days book and food sale in June, 2004. With the proceeds, the group purchased a second Internet computer for use by library patrons.

The Friends also successfully lobbied the community and the City Council to preserve ownership of an adjacent parcel- instead of selling it- so the library could have room to expand at some point in the future.

In 2005, the library celebrated its 100th anniversary. This special milestone was commemorated with a custom cancellation stamp at the post office funded by the Friends. The Howard Lake Good Neighbor Days button that year also featured the Great River Regional Library.

In 2006 and 2007, the Friends were busy with the new landscaping outside the front of the library. The City of Howard Lake provided money for the cement work and retaining walls, the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted FFA chapter installed the retaining walls, and a local 4-H group planted the shrubs and flowers the Friends provided.

Also in 2006, the Friends completed the required paperwork to obtain official non-profit status. This opened the door for future grant applications.

In 2007, the Friends provided new furnishings in the children's area to replace furniture in place since the facility opened in 1982. Also in 2007, the Friends purchased all new media shelving to house the library's growing collection of movies and music. New furniture in the adult reading area was supplied by the Friends in 2008, as well a large organizer in the children’s area. Angela Lachermeier, a local Waverly artist, donated time and materials for a variety of murals throughout the library.

According to Sue Classen, Treasurer, the Friends hope to support a future expansion of the library facilities one day but, in the meantime, they "strive to make the best use of the current space and help to provide the best possible library experience for patrons."

For more information on the Friends, or to find out how to join the Friends, go to the Friends' website at: www.hjorgs.com/hl-libraryfriends.