By Rosemary K. Otzman
Tony D’Onofrio was elected 2015 president of the Friends of the Belleville Area District Library at Saturday’s annual membership meeting. This is the fourth year that D’Onofrio is serving as president.
Nakenya Lewis Yarbrough, who served as president in 2014, at the last minute told the group she couldn’t serve as president this year because of the time spent at her work and college classes. So, D’Onofrio, who was slated to run for vice president for a second year, instead agreed to run as president and Yarbrough was elected vice president.
Katerina Tyner was elected treasurer and Rick Cichewicz, secretary.
During the meeting Cichewicz, who had served as treasurer last year, gave the report that there was $14,361.87 total in the treasury at the end of the year and more than $11,000 was spent throughout the year.
Among the purchases for the library, the Friends provided a new outside book drop, paid for half of the Summer Reading program, and replaced ten worn-out office chairs.
Book Chairman Carol Schank was not present, but sent a report that the four book sales and donations at those sales in 2014 brought a total of $1,376.65.
Books sold at the library entryway and the book room, plus more donations, brought a total of $7,367.33.
In a note at the bottom of her report, Schank wrote: “Some of the donations are from the gentleman who buys the boxes of discarded books. Other donations are end of year.”
Membership Chairman Marty Wilson said in 2014, there was $692 paid for normal memberships and $2,650 in donations. In 2015, so far, $253 has been paid for memberships.
Program Chairman Dee Crowe gave a written and oral report on the nine programs presented in the 2014 “Homegrown Knowledge Series.” She said travelogues are the best attended and, “If you’ve traveled someplace, give us a call.”
She announced upcoming programs: Judge Parrott talking about the court system on Feb. 12 and Hilary Savage talking about her visit to India on March 12. Savage is in India now.
Barbara Miller said from the audience that she saw April 9 and May 14 had no programs listed and she wanted to suggest a program.
Miller said a student who lives in Belleville did an analysis of a library in Belleville, “by happenstance,” and Bernie Grant heard it.
Grant said he is an architect at Hamilton Anderson in downtown Detroit and heard the student give a presentation for a college class. The student analyzed the City of Belleville and possible uses of the library.
“It was the best project in the class,” Grant said, adding that it would give people something to think about.
Library Director Deb Green said she had worked with the student and got him information he needed. She said there is a program that is confirmed for the April session now – Feril Foods of Willis.
So, after discussion, Crowe agreed to schedule the student to give his presentation on Belleville and the library on May 14.
Members of the audience were urged to take copies of the library survey out to their friends and neighbors to fill out. The deadline is March 31. Director Green said she has 300 surveys completed, which is a good start.
“It concerns me that a person with an axe to grind could fill out 20 surveys,” said Crowe, referring to the fact that the surveys are unsigned. She was reminded the survey is quite long and takes a while to fill out.
Dr. David Wilson said he was concerned not enough people in the community will fill out the surveys to give the library the information it needs.
By Rosemary K. Otzman