'Friends' growing in support of Milford Library: Group raised $24,000 in 2015

The Friends of Milford Library, a volunteer organization that sustains programs and activities at the Milford Public Library that are not supported in the city budget, sponsored many programs and raised nearly $24,000 in 2015 and have many plans for the new year.

“We have had an extraordinarily active year,” said Friends President Anne Bolin.

She said the group raised more than $24,000 through book sales in the library, new book sale events at the Oyster Festival and the Lamplight Stroll, and through donations and membership dues.

Among the list of adult programs the group sponsored, there were lectures, concerts, movies, dance programs, workshops and classes, such as a genealogy and gardening series.

Children’s programs that the group funded include a creative writing club for tweens, story hours, summer reading clubs, drama workshops, seasonal passes for families to enjoy Connecticut museums and zoos, and more.

More than 16,360 children and more than 4,800 adults participated in library events in 2015, Bolin said.

The Friends designed, constructed, stocked and maintained three new Little Libraries — at the YMCA, Gulf Beach and Walnut Beach – to join the ‘Books for Commuters’ Library’ at the Milford Train Station

In 2015 members initiated the Friends’ Book Award, with presentations in June to five high school juniors, each at one of the five high schools in Milford — Foran, Law, the Academy, Platt and Lauralton Hall.

They launched “Fridays with Friends” informal get togethers, sometimes with speakers and including two trips – to visit the renovated Sterling Library at Yale and a trip to New York to see the Grolier Library and the New York Public Library

They initiated a “Welcome to Milford” program, in collaboration with Milford organizations, creating packets to introduce newcomers to Milford.

The number of club members increased, as did volunteer hours, and the Friends created an oral history project of video interviews with artists who have paintings in the city’s permanent art collection and brainstormed new fundraising initiatives.

“Not only are we excited about our 2015 accomplishments, but we are looking forward to the activities and programs planned for the new year,” said Bolin.

“Discussions with the high school faculty convinced us of the need that exists in our community to assist students in their pursuit of higher education,” she said. “We are delighted to announce that we have established two scholarships, which will be awarded to a Jonathan Law and a Foran senior. Criteria for the $500 scholarships are being established by a Friends’ committee, working with representatives from the high schools.”

The Friends’ High School Book Award will be presented for a second year to a member of the Junior Class at each of the five high schools in Milford. The award recognizes one student per school who has exhibited outstanding personal character, made a positive impact on their school or community, and demonstrated a strong and consistent love of reading.

“We will continue our Little Libraries, Oral History and Welcome to Milford programs,” Bolin said. “Committees will be meeting over the winter to determine detailed plans for work during 2016. We welcome all who would like to join us in making these interesting projects a reality.”

To learn more about the Friends, visit  and click on the link for Friends of the Milford Library. A volunteer application can be completed online. Residents may also email the Friends at milfordlib.friends@gmail.com or check out Friends on Facebook.