The Friends of the Alexandrian Public Library was initially formed in 1977 to increase library volunteerism, expand library services, and help to construct a new library building. However, it was not until September 26th, 1988, that it was incorporated in the state of Indiana as a nonprofit corporation.
The Purpose of the Friends is to:
- maintain an association of persons interested in libraries;
- focus public attention of the library;
- stimulate the use of the library’s resources and services;
- receive and encourage gifts, endowments, and bequests to the library;
- support and cooperate with the library in developing library services and facilities for the community;
- lend legislative support where needed;
- support the freedom to read and view as expressed in the Library Bill of Rights
Call Stan Campbell to learn when our Friends meetings are scheduled, for an agenda or for more details at 812.838-3286.
Anyone interested in joining the Friends can do so at the library. All ages are invited! There are a number of affordable levels of membership in the Friends, with annual membership fees as follows:
The benefits of membership include home delivery of the bi-monthly Friends newsletter, the A~P~L Core, a discount on all purchases of over $10.00 at Tales & Treasures, and a preview of books available at the annual book sale, the day before it opens to the public.
Current officers for the APL Friends of the Library are:
- Kathy Nelson — President
- Nancy Johnston — Vice-President
- Joanne Artz — Secretary
- Bob Webster — Treasurer
- Directors – Peter Whiting, David Nelson, Monica Emerson
Officers are elected each year at the Annual Friends Dinner Meeting.
Treasures is the gift shop run by the Friends for the benefit of the Library and the public that it serves. It began its life as a pushcart which was taken out onto the sidewalks surrounding the library. After a year or two of life as a cart (during which time it appeared in national library publications like American Libraries), it was decided that a more permanent home, out of the elements, was more desirable.
So plans were made, and construction was begun to enclose a portion of the existing lobby, and in the winter of 1995 the gift shop moved into its present quarters. The gift shop is staffed by Janie and Sandy, and is open the following hours:
Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday 12:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Over a five-day period in early October of 2000, thousands of people from all walks of life pulled together with a common purpose: to build a huge playground in Mount Vernon which was designed for–and by–the area’s children.
This was not a library project, although the Board of Trustees happily agreed to donate the land for the playground, and the Friends of APL acted as fiscal agent for the project, and formed a committee for the ongoing maintenance of the playground.
The October build was the culmination of a process that began in the Fall of 1999 when Mt. Vernon residents who had, independent of each other, contacted a playground design company in Syracuse, New York, know as Leathers and Associates, were put into contact with one another by Leathers. This group soon expanded into what became the “Core Committee” of people who decided to work with Leathers and Associates to make the playground a reality.
Children figured prominently in the playground every step of the way. In late March of 2000, Design Day was held, during which a representative from Leathers and Associates came to Mt. Vernon, gathered ideas from area children about what they wanted to have on their playground, and incorporated those ideas into an actual blueprint for the playground which was revealed at a public meeting that evening.
Then, in April of that year, a contest was held to name the playground, and the name Imagination Station was selected from among the nominations. Children said they liked the name Imagination Station in part because the playground was next to the library, and that reading helps children to use their imaginations.
Kids also helped in raising funds, selling root beer floats at the local IGA supermarket, setting up penny cans in local businesses, and many other ways.
Finally, kids helped during the construction of the playground, sanding, painting, raking wood chips, staining lumber, serving food and beverages, and doing countless other “kid-sized” jobs.
But really, the whole community can take pride in the playground. All the tools used in the construction were donated by individuals, businesses, or contractors; all of the labor was donated by individuals, organizations, or businesses; child care for volunteer laborers was donated by still more volunteers; food to feed workers meals was donated by area stores, restaurants, pizza parlors, and social organizations; and all money spent on materials and construction was raised locally through private initiative.
As the pictures on this page indicate, building Imagination Station was an enormous undertaking, and no one who was associated with the build will ever forget the experience. Acquaintances were made, relationships were developed, and lasting friendships were formed. Our community came together to create something of lasting value for the kids.
Yes, we built it. But—in a very real sense—it helped to build us, too.
Guidelines for Use
The following rules govern use of Imagination Station by the public.
- Imagination Station is open from dawn until dusk. Neither children nor adults are to be on the playground after dark.
- For safety and security considerations, an adult should accompany children.
- The Library is not responsible for injuries resulting from misuse of playground equipment.
- Shoes are required.
- No smoking on the playground or at its entrance.
- No drugs or alcohol allowed.
- No food or drinks allowed. Food and beverages are allowed in areas outside the fence. Glass containers are prohibited.
- No bicycles, skateboards, scooters, or rollerblades allowed.
- No dogs, cats, or other pets allowed.
- Please refrain from using profanities or foul language.
- Misuse or damage to playground facilities will not be tolerated. Anyone found doing so will be prosecuted tothe full extent of the law.
- Please share playground equipment, be sensitive to children, and respectful of everyone.
The Friends have an annual dinner meeting held each May, at which Officers and Directors are elected.
The Friends usually have a program associated with the dinner involving an Indiana author of some note, and the dinner is always a memorable and enjoyable event.
The 2016 date and speaker will be announced soon!
The 2015 Annual Dinner and Meeting will be held on April 20th beginning at 6pm. The meeting will include the election of the 2015-2016 officers and a presentation from our guest speaker, Sharon Sorenson, author of the popular book : Birds in the Yard Month by Month: What’s There and Why, and How to Attract Those That Aren’t. Tickets for the dinner will be $8 apiece, and reservations may be made through Stan Campbell at 838-3286.
Past speakers include Harold Morgan, author of Home Front Heroes, Philip Gulley, author of Front Porch Tales, Nelson Price, author of Indiana Legends: Famous Hoosiers from Johnny Appleseed to David Letterman, Mike Whicker, author of Invitation to Valhalla, Margaret McMullan, author of In My Mother’s House and How I Found the Strong with good will and humor, cowboy poet and humorist Marvin Wild and local television personality Hal Wolford.
For more information on the Friends Annual Dinner Meeting, contact Stan Campbell at 812.838-3286.