Friends of the library are friends of Rochester
The Junior Friends of the Plumb Memorial Library take their roles as volunteers seriously—from providing new books for the library to aiding groups and families around Rochester.
With approximately 15 current active members in the youth group ranging from the ages of 8-14, group members voted to use some of the money that they raised in 2017 to purchase four new books for the library.
“This was one of many Junior Friends-funded donations made to a variety of organizations, charities or people in need each year,” explained Lisa Fuller, Plumb Library's Youth Services Coordinator and Junior Friends Liaison.
To raise money, the group holds several bake sales at library events every year, the largest being the Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale. Group members then decide how to use that money to help others and make a difference in their community, or even the world.
The group's most recent fundraising support included a donation to the Greyhound Pets of America animal rescue group in Middleboro, who make the library's “Read to Amos the Greyhound” book program possible. Members also chose to donate money to Rochester Cares, a fundraising group that provided monetary support to a Rochester family that lost its home to a fire.
The Junior Friends Program began in 2009 as a way to allow children to help support the library and learn about the importance of community service and volunteering. “So many of our Junior Friends are children who have been coming to the library since they were a baby. After graduating from story time at five years old, they wanted to stay involved in the library's programs,” Fuller said.
As a member of the Junior Friends for over four years, eighth-grader Emma Makuch described her experiences with the youth group as fun. "Especially because it makes other people happy. It's good for kids who want to do good things for other people,” she explained.
At age eight, children can join the Junior Friends group. To join, they can visit the library, where Fuller will sign them up for the program. The group meets at least once per quarter.
“The program is designed to be very flexible with busy schedules,” Fuller continued. “There is never any pressure to participate,” she added. “We even have a few high school students referred to as the 'invisible teen team' who still participate."
Helping others isn't the only thing that motivates Junior Friend Allison Root. She encourages kids to come to the library and join. “Since I'm always at dance class I don't get to see my friends a lot. At Junior Friends meetings, I get to do hang out with my five best friends,” she said with a huge smile.
The group's next big project is providing activities at the library's annual Take Your Child to the Library Day, scheduled for Saturday, February 3, from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.