A vibrant, well-organized and active library doesn’t just appear out of thin air. Indeed, it’s no magic trick—for a library to thrive, it requires the careful and passionate care of dedicated volunteer support. For 50 years, the Friends of the Edina Library, a volunteer-run, independent organization, has provided a helping hand to the Edina Library through fundraising, book sales, assisting librarians with various tasks, and serving in the community as library advocates. Thanks to these friends, Edina Library can count on consistent financial and social support. Let us introduce you to just a few who help make the Edina Library another jewel in our community’s crown.
Book Sale Chairwoman
When Louise Price was a child, her mother made it a habit to read to her at the local library. Later in life, Price continued that tradition, visiting the old Edina Library on 50th Street whenever possible to share stories with her daughters. The more time Price spent at the library, the more she realized what a gift it was to the community—a gift that she wanted to give back to and show gratitude for. Price joined the Friends of the Edina Library board in 1986.
Price has served twice as board president and now she volunteers as the book sale chairperson, coordinating the library’s biannual capstone event, which falls on the last weekends of April and October.
“I love giving back to the library and supporting literacy and families,” Price says. “The book sale is full of so much energy, and it’s fun to see people excited about books. I get chills just thinking about it. ”
Weirdest item found while sorting books: A brick
Recommended reading: The Light Between the Oceans by M.L. Stedman and The Outliers by Malcom Gladwell
Although Connie Brekken lives in Bloomington, she was so inspired by the Friends of the Edina Library group, she had to join. From what Brekken had heard, the Edina Friends group was one of the most active in the metro area and she wanted to be part of that kind of team.
Brekken began helping with the biannual book sale in 2000, sorting donations alongside other board members. In fall 2011, Brekken was asked to become the board’s volunteer coordinator and in June 2014, she began serving her first term as board president.
“It’s incredible how much the Edina community supports this library,” Brekken says. “And despite the rise of Kindles and e-books, we are still selling 10,000 printed books at every book sale. There is still a love of reading out there, and that’s encouraging to see.”
Weirdest item found while sorting books: Old photographs
Recommended reading: The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, The Balkan Trilogy by Olivia Manning, Kolynsky Heights by Lionel Davidson, and The Cazelet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard
Since 2004, Margaret Kersteter has been assisting the Friends of the Edina Library group in various ways. From sorting book sale donations to helping board members and making sure the book sale event goes smoothly, Kersteter does whatever is required to ensure the mission of the Friends is met: to enhance the library experience and create opportunities from which everyone can benefit.
“In the months leading up to the book sales, we come and sort books every Wednesday morning,” Kersteter says. “It’s something I always look forward to.”
Weirdest item found while sorting books: Someone else’s paycheck
Recommended reading: “For excellent character development and a gripping plot, check out the Chief Inspector Gamache mystery series by Louise Penny.”
When she moved to Edina in 1987, one of Carol Goode’s first stops was the Edina Library. On the day she and her daughter first visited the library, a group was hosting a Halloween party. Impressed by the event’s organization and creativity, Goode asked who was responsible for putting it together. That was just the beginning of Goode’s history with the Friends of the Edina Library.
She began volunteering in 1995 and became treasurer in 2004, her role ever since. According to Goode, the Friends raise between $8,000 and $10,000 at each book sale. Those funds go directly to the library in the form of programming, e-books, storytelling and puppet shows for kids, print books, newspaper and magazine subscription resources, and much more.
Most recently, in celebration of the Friend’s 50th anniversary, we upgraded the children’s area,” Goode says. “The best part of this work is the people you get to work with.”
Recommended reading: “My daughter, Laura Goode, has spoken at the Edina Library and is now an author. Check out her most popular book, Sister Mischief.”
Want to join a local Friends of the Hennepin County Library group?
Visit supporthclib.org or call 612.543.8100.