Our History

Since 2002 the Friends have been supporting the downtown library and the community it serves.

2015
Bob Gibson accepts VCB grant check.

Bob Gibson accepts VCB grant check.

* Sponsor, SWFL Reading Festival. ($2000)
* Grew membership from 128 to 163 (27% increase)
* Raised $5391 from book sales
* Received $2000 advertising grant from Lee Co. Visitor & Convention Bureau
* Held 11 Friends-hosted adult programs with 484 attendees
* Funded 17 programs for children & teens and 10 for adult crafters
* Provided 1200 Book Page magazines free to library patrons
* Established partnership with Dunbar Library
* Received $1200 Rotary grant for Summer Reading Program for Fort Myers and Dunbar libraries

2014

* New Library building opens at 2450 First St. Meeting rooms at 1651 Lee St.
* Contracted for Friends Kiosk to sell books and other items within the library. ($6200)
* Held Author Expo during the Library’s Opening Day photo
* Grew membership fro 53 to 128 (141% increase)
* Sponsor, SWFL Reading Festival. ($2000)
* Funded $1200 for miscellaneous library purchase needs
* Sponsored Children’s Librarian’s attendance at NY Author Conference
* Funded Youth Services programs, including Summer Reading and Batman 75th Anniversary programs.
* Honored Fort Myers Library staff during Library Appreciation Month.
* Funded Twelfth Annual Let’s Fly a Kite Program for children.
* Attended Friends Presidents Forum.
* Provided 1200 Book Page magazines free to library patrons
* Purchased Premium Baby Sign Language program for Youth Services
* Initiated Friends-hosted programs for adults, holding 13 with 556 attendees
* Funded 24 programs for children & teens and 12 for adult crafters
* Continued support of Small Business workshops held throughout the year.
* Raised $7800 from book sales
* Joined the Florida Humanities Council
* Implemented Constant Contact email system

2013

* Sponsor, SWFL Reading Festival. ($2000)
* Provided funding for Youth Services programs, including Summer Reading Program
* Honored Fort Myers Library staff during Library Appreciation Month
* Funded Let’s Fly a Kite Program for children
* Attended Friends Presidents Forum.
* Provided 1200 Book Page magazines free to library patrons

2012

* Sponsor, SWFL Reading Festival. ($2000)
* 2012 Newsletter Award from the Florida Library Association Friends, Foundations and Boards Member Group
* Provided funding for Youth Services programs, including Summer Reading Program
* Honored Fort Myers Library staff during Library Appreciation Month
* Funded Let’s Fly a Kite Program for children
* Attended Friends Presidents Forum
* Provided 1200 Book Page magazines free to library patrons

2011

* Sponsor, SWFL Reading Festival. ($2000)
* 2011 Newsletter Award from the Florida Library Association Friends, Foundations and Boards Member Group
* Funded Youth Services programs, including Summer Reading Program
* Honored Fort Myers Library staff during Library Appreciation Month
* Funded Let’s Fly a Kite Program for children
* Attended Friends Presidents Forum.
* Distributed quarterly newsletter
* Provided 1200 Book Page magazines free to library patrons

2010

* Sponsor, SWFL Reading Festival. ($2000)
* Funded Youth Services programs, including Summer Reading Program
* Honored Fort Myers Library staff during Library Appreciation Month
* Funded Let’s Fly a Kite Program for children
* Distributed quarterly newsletter
* Attended Friends Presidents Forum
* Provided 1200 Book Page magazines free to library patrons

2009

* Sponsor, SWFL Reading Festival
* Funded Youth Services programs, including Summer Reading Program
* Honored Fort Myers Library staff during Library Appreciation Month
* Funded Annual Let’s Fly a Kite Program for children
* Attended Friends Presidents Forum
* Distributed quarterly newsletter
* Provided 1200 Book Page magazines free to library patrons

2008

* Sponsor, SWFL Reading Festival
* Furnished sturdy plastic book bags for library patrons’ use on rainy days
* Participated in planning meetings for an expanded Fort Myers Library
* Provided support for Family Tree Magazine’s Library Survey completed by Fort Myers Library staff
* Funded Youth Services programs, including Summer Reading Program
* Honored Fort Myers Library staff during Library Appreciation Month
* Held Book Sales in January, February and April
* Made headphones available for nominal donation for patrons’ use with library computer
* Funded Let’s Fly a Kite Program for children
* Provided 1200 Book Page magazines free to library patrons
* Attended Friends Presidents Forum
* Distributed quarterly newsletter
* Funded Gaming in the Library program for children
* Purchased a heavy-duty book truck for Fort Myers Library

2007

* Sponsor, SWFL Reading Festival
* Received final ruling from the Internal Revenue Service that the Friends met the requirements of section 501(c)(3) after submitting the required five year review
* Purchased a “Join the Friends” banner to mount on in Reference area
* Attended Southwest Florida Library Network’s Advocacy Workshop
* Sponsored a Meet the Author Program with Charles Sobzak, partnering with Native Plant Society
* Funded “Where in the World Are You”, an interactive map program for children
* Held Book Sales in March, August and November
* Honored Fort Myers Library staff during Library Appreciation Month
* Nominated Branch Manager Madeleine Plummer for 1st Annual Book Page Spotlight Award
* Funded the Fifth Annual Fly-A-Kite program
* Participated in Lee County Advisory Board Workshop for Friends and Volunteers
* Participated in planning meetings for an expanded Fort Myers Library
* Purchased Books for Babies kits in both English and Spanish for Youth Services Department
* Purchased autographed copies of author A.J. Rodriguez books for Youth Services Department
* Furnished sturdy plastic book bags for library patrons’ use on rainy days
* Participated in Friends of the Library Regional Workshop
* Made patron headphones available with library computers for nominal donation
* Provided 1200 Book Page magazines free to library patrons
* Distributed quarterly newsletter
* Purchased a binding machine for loose materials
* Facilitated a grant application to the Bank of America Foundation, which provided funding for the Reading Festival.

2006

* Sponsor, SWFL Reading Festival
* Sponsor, Library Advocacy Legislative Breakfast
* Advocated for expansion of Fort Myers Library, attending meetings of elected officials
* Held January, February, April, August and November Book Sales
* Honored Fort Myers Library staff during Library Appreciation Week and National Library Week
* Funded Fourth Annual Let’s Fly a Kite Program for children
* Funded Reach for the Stars Astronomy Program for children
* Funded Game Night for Teens at the Fort Myers Library
* Funded Teen Poetry Contest Awards
* Sponsor, Lee County Genealogical Society’s Youth Heritage Fair
* Provided program support for children’s Bored Room
* Distributed quarterly newsletter
* Provided 1200 Book Page magazines free to library patrons
* Attended Friends of the Library Regional Workshop

2005

* Sponsor, SWFL Reading Festival
* Launched Friends Bookstore with purchase of shelving units and self-pay box
* Provided funding for library program support
* Participated in Fort Myers Library International Celebration
* Held Book Sales in January, June and November
* Attended Friends of the Library Regional Workshop
* Honored Fort Myers Library staff during Library Appreciation Month
* Funded Funtastic Friday Kite Program for children
* Participated in community Weed and Seed Program
* Funded Fort Myers Library’s Hat Decorating Contest for adults
* Purchased a spinner rack for Friends’ Bookstore
* Purchased a Banned Book Week Kit for Fort Myers Library
* Distributed quarterly newsletter
* Provided 1200 Book Page magazines free to library patrons
* Joined Florida Library Association
* Advocated for capital improvements for Fort Myers Library with elected officials

2004

* Sponsor, SWFL Reading Festival
* Received IRS designation as 501(c)(3) organization
* Joined Friends of Libraries USA (FOLUSA)
* Sponsored a Meet the Author Program with Ad Hudler
* Held Book Sales in April, July and November
* Participated in Authors and Artists event
* Provided refreshments for Black History Month program
* Addressed county officials about using money bequeathed by Dr. June Roberts Cornog for capital improvements
* Advocacy for Fort Myers Library expansion
* Sent resolution to Fort Myers Mayor and County Commissioners outlining support for capital improvements to Fort Myers Library
* Funded purchase of high school yearbook as award for Fort Myers Library Teen Advisory Board member
* Attended Friends of the Library Regional Workshop
* Funded supplies for children’s Bored Room
* Participated in library’s Culture of India Celebration
* Distributed quarterly newsletter
* Provided 1200 Book Page magazines free to library patrons

2003

* First sponsorship of SWFL Reading Festival
* Held
First Annual Membership Meeting
* Sponsored a Meet the Author program with Robert Macomber
* Participated in Fort Myers Library’s Caribbean Festival
* Honored Fort Myers Library staff during National Library Week
* Held April and November Book Sales
* Developed Palm Readers membership brochure Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 4.56.03 PM
* Began funding 1200 copies of Book Page, a monthly book review magazine, free to library patrons
* Attended Focus on Friends Regional Workshop
* Funded the purchase of children’s games for the Bored Room
* Began publishing quarterly newsletter
* Participated in Fort Myers Library’s Multicultural Festival
* Purchased a banner to advertise Friends’ book sales

2002

* Founded: developed by-laws & elected officers
* Filed Articles of Incorporation
* Held first two-day Book Sale
* Purchased two coffee makers for library meetings and Friends meetings