In today’s difficult economic times, it is always good to have a “friend” to help you out. At the North Castle Public Library, we have many “Friends”.

The Friends of the North Castle Public Library, Inc. (the Friends) is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that has truly made a difference for our library. It can be said that our library would not exist without our “Friends”. The origin of our library and Friends organization goes back to 1938 when four community members raised money to start a library and then operated the library until 1956 when town government took over. The Friends have continued on in several different forms through the years to help our library continue to improve.

The Friends’ primary role today is as a fund-raising organization to support enhancement of our library beyond our town government’s responsibilities. The most significant Friends’ fund-raising event is the Annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show which will celebrate its 52nd show on September 28 – 29 this year. The art show is now one of the top-rated art shows in the United States attracting artists from across the nation and around the world. It is also a terrific cultural event that attracts over 6,000 visitors to our town every year. Two years ago the Friends added a road race the weekend before the art show to kickoff Art Show Week. Lastly, the Friends are also supported by many generous donations from the community.

All of net profits of the Friends go to the North Castle Public Library (which results in average donations of over $100,000 per year). The most significant example of the Friends’ contribution is the programming done at our library every year. In 2012, we conducted over 1,000 unique programs for children, teens and adults that were attended by nearly 17,000 people. All of these programs were entirely funded by the Friends. Other recent examples of Friends’ support are the implementation of a wide range of new technologies (some of which support our programming), the introduction of new media such as museum passes, and replacement of much of the furniture in our facility. These contributions have made a significant difference in enabling our library to be the educational and cultural hub of our community.

Last, as the Friends are also all strong supporters of the library, they have actively assisted the library trustees and staff in developing, enhancing and implementing our long-term strategy. This strategy has guided us in the transformation of our library from a central facility with books to an additional role: a recreation center for the brain. One critical component of our strategy and future plan has us enhancing our “virtual library”, one that will extend the reach of our library through available technology. We are confident that we will succeed…with a little help from our “Friends”.

Note: North Castle is a small town located thirty five miles from New York City with a population of 12,000. Our library consists of two branches located in two of our hamlets, Armonk and North White Plains. Our library and trustees are grateful for the many volunteers who make the “Friends”