UNION — A gift from the Friends of the Library will bring the Union County Carnegie Library’s collection of local newspapers up to date.
On Thursday morning, several Friends of the Library (FOL) members presented a check to the Union County Carnegie Library for $3,000, which covers the cost of updating the library’s newspaper collection on microfiche.
Library Director Ben Loftis said the newspapers currently available for viewing on microfiche date back as far as the 1850s.
“Obviously, it’s spottier the further back you go, but it’s there,” Loftis said.
The last few years of local newspapers were missing from the collection until the donation was made by the FOL.
“This is an investment that will last for years and years,” Loftis said. “Microfilm can last for years, even centuries. It’s much more sustainable than having just print copies would be.”
The FOL raises funds for the library each year by collecting membership dues through membership drives, as well as hosting book sales and other special fundraisers.
“These are tough economic times for the library, and funding is always an annual issue,” said FOL President Kelli Johnston. “The FOL is always a source of funding for projects like this.”
Johnston said the FOL has sponsored numerous projects for the library in the recent past including arts and crafts projects, painting of the library restrooms, and a storage unit for financial and other documents for the library (until the basement is renovated for storage.
“When people become Friends of the Library or support book sales, the money goes to the library to support these projects,” Johnston said.
The FOL currently has 225 members, and those involved say support of many more is needed. To become a member of the FOL, attend a library board meeting — held at 6 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month — or call the Union County Carnegie Library at (864) 427-7140.