Junior Friends of the Homewood Library
The Next Generation of Volunteers
Inma Leonard & Sarah Gearhart
Homewood Public Library
How it all started…
• The Jr. Friends of the Homewood Library
started in 2008.
• Initiated by Friends of the Library parents to
provide school age children an opportunity to
volunteer at the library and participate in
service projects that benefit the community.
• Financially supported by the Friends of the
Homewood Library (FOHL).
• The Junior Friend’s mission is to
– Promote community service and
volunteerism among our youngest patrons
– Support the Friends of the Homewood
Public Library mission.
– Strengthen relationships between staff &
• A key component of the Jr. Friends
mission is to promote community service.
• Jr. Friends achieve this goal by
completing projects or volunteering in
ways that benefit the community as a
• The Jr. Friends is membership based.
• Membership is $2 a year- includes a
book bag, project materials, and
monthly meeting dinners.
• Sign in during Summer Reading Kick-Off.
• Membership growth:
– 2008 56 members 2009 147 members
– 2010 119 members 2011 143 members
– 2012 140 members 2013 135 members
Travelling Jr. Friends Contest
• Jr. Friends have the opportunity to
showcase their new Jr. Friends book bags
each summer by taking pictures
throughout the community or during
their summer vacations.
• Lucky winners receive cool prizes
(Raving Waters Park passes in 2013)
• Jr. Friends meet monthly from Sept. to May.
• Meetings take place on Fridays from 5-6:30 PM.
• Jr. Friends under 8 years of age must be
accompanied by a parent/adult during the
• Prior to the meetings parent volunteers and
youth librarians coordinate project needs.
• Meeting night we complete the project, have
dinner, and play games.
– Blankets for seniors
– Blood drive Thank You bags
– School supplies for kids @ homeless shelters
– Dog toys for animal shelters
– Valentine Day’s Cards for Veterans
– National Library Week decorations
– Holiday presents for staff & board members
– Respond Now Food Drive
On the road projects
• This past year the Jr. Friends took their
volunteer efforts on the road by
– Producing a play & providing an afternoon of
games at Freedom Village Senior Residence
– Creating Reading Buddies for
Benefits to the Library
• Jr. Friends have created stronger collaborations
between Friends of the
Library, Parents, Librarians and Community
• Multiple community need addressed via
• Unique program that provides volunteer
opportunities for young children.
• Increased attendance in Youth Department
• Recruiting parent volunteers.
• Finding creative and affordable
• Engaging children of different
ages and abilities.
• Staff time.
National Library Week- Butterfly Decorations 2011
Patrons were given
butterfly magnets as they
checked out materials
Respond Now Food Drive
• In 2011 Jr. Friends
conducted their first
food drive to help a
local food shelter.
• The effort brought
together the library, the
school district, and the
• Over 500 items
Respond Now Food Drive 2012
• Eager Jr. Friends
decorated placemats and
grocery bags for
• Jr. Friends filled ready
to go grocery bags for
shelter to distribute to
Blankets for Seniors
Jr. Friends created lap
blankets for local
Thank You Bags for Firemen
Jr. Friends created
Thank You bags for
Board Members & Staff Holiday Gifts
• Each year Jr. Friends
create holiday gifts
for board members
and library staff.
Thank You Bags 2013
• At each meeting Jr.
“Thank You” bags
for Friends of the
volunteers and for any
special programs at the
Fall Decorations 2013
• In preparation for an
off-site visit to a
local senior residence
Jr. Friends created
“Treat bags” and Fall
Decorations for the