Archive Record

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Catalog Number MS.001
Object Name Fonds
Scope & Content Friends of the Venice Area Public Library collection consists of material arranged in the following series: administration, building funds, by-laws, financial, fund raising, history, minutes, ledges, photographs and scrapbooks; 1962-1988

Title Friends of the Venice Area Public Library Collection
Collection Friends of the Venice Area Public Library
Accession number 1991.81
Number of images 0.0
Admin/Biographical History The FVAPL was incorporated as a non-profit organization on May 14, 1962. The group was established to develop public library services, to help in the construction, maintenance and operation of a library. The organization of this corporation is to exist perpetually or until otherwise legally dissolved, by a membership of persons who subscribe to the purposes set forth by the by-laws. The affairs shall be managed by a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and such other officers as the by-laws may prescribe and by a board of directors consisting of not less than 3 nor more than 13 persons. The annual meeting of the membership is held during the month of April or May and is determined by the board. Fifteen members entitled to vote constitutes a quorum. Committees are appointed by the president and approved by the board.

The citizens of the Venice area have been concerned about the need for reading material for many years. Books have been available from different groups and various places. In 1962, a group was organized under the name, "Friends of the Library of the Venice Area, Inc." It had a three-pronged purpose: to determine the size, type and location of a new library building; to raise the money to build it; and, as far as possible, to promote county wide libraries. Spearheaded by author Walter Farley and his wife Rosemary, and by its first president, Rockwood Bullard, the Friends raised $24,000 by the end of the year. With this show of strength they were able to lease, from the city, a site in Blalock Park for $1.00 a year for 20 years, with the option of renewals at the same rate each 20 years, thereafter, for a total of 100 years. There were conditions. The Friends must build a "suitable" library not later than December 1965, to cost no less than $65,000. The County, impressed by the activity of the Friends, included in its budget, $32,000 for the operation of a library. Not a penny of this money could be spent on "bricks and mortar." It was up to the Friends to raise the money for the building. With the help of countless Friends and other civic-minded citizens, the goal was met. Ground was broken on April 8, 1965, for the Venice library building. It opened for business on October 4, 1965. The building cost $86,329.

By 1972, it became obvious that more space was needed. With fund raising drives, bequests, a Selby Foundation grant, and $200,000 from the County, the goal of $500,000 was met and work on the extension began in June 1979. The older section of the building was renovated and the whole project completed by June 1980. Thanks to the generosity of many local people, the furnishings and landscaping were supplied. Children's activities were supported with gifts of materials, equipment and volunteer help. Cassettes for the print-handicapped were taped and made available by the "Reading by Listening" group. Other committees serviced "shut-ins" with library materials including large print books. The Friends' Historical Committee collected and organized an extensive archives. Additions to the building were funded by the Friends of the Library in 1983.
Containers 01
Folders 1-28
Folders 1-20
Folders 1-12