From the Friends: Volunteer of the Year and More!

Posted Dec 29, 2021

As President of Friends of Shorewood Public Library, I love the annual meeting each December when I have the honor of naming the Volunteer of the Year, a tradition dating back many years. The plaque with the names of all the people who have given so much to the Friends and to our beloved Shorewood Public Library is located across from the check-out desk, just to the left of the Friends Used Book Sale. I am so pleased to announce that McKenzie Skye Edmonds’ name is now added to this plaque as Volunteer of the Year for 2021.

During her tenure on the Board of Directors, McKenzie has served as chair of Promotion and Fundraising as well as the Nominating Committee. She has solicited funds, recruited new members, and overseen the annual Holiday Book Talk and Sale with Daniel Goldin of Boswell Books, coordinated National Friends of Library Week, organized dine-in at several Shorewood restaurants, worked on our annual Staff Appreciation events, staffed the Friends’ kiosk at the Shorewood Farmers’ Market, and delivered “I ♥ Shorewood Public Library” yard signs to village homes each October. She has also assisted with planning for the upcoming Shorewood Reads 2022 and most recently has agreed to serve on the committee to review and revise the Friends’ bylaws. Most important, she is a superb ambassador for the Friends and Shorewood Public Library. In addition to her service to the Friends, McKenzie volunteers for the Village of Shorewood as an election inspector and as a member of the Human Relations Commission.

Each year at the annual meeting, we also say farewell to retiring members of the Board—a bittersweet moment. This year, we thanked Len Weistrop and Tricia Briceno for their service over the last three years. Len served on the Promotion and Fundraising Committee and also was on the Board many years ago. He was a welcome reminder of how long the Friends have been around supporting Shorewood Public Library with annual gifts to the collections and programming. Tricia served on the Promotion and Fundraising Committee as well as the Shorewood Reads 2022 Steering Committee and the Book Selection Committee. Each of these tasks takes time and effort. We are so thankful to both Len and Tricia for their commitment to the Friends.

We also said farewell to one of the pillars of the Friends and the Board. Susan Lofton joined the Board in 2013. Minutes after joining, she was appointed to chair the 100/10 anniversary of the Shorewood Public Library—a daunting task that Susan pulled off brilliantly. She then became Membership Coordinator, more than doubled the number of members, and raised $90,399.98, allowing the Friends to increase significantly their annual gifts to the library. Along the way, Susan also served on the committee to overhaul our bylaws and on the Nominating Committee. In recognition of her commitment to the Friends and the library, we established The Susan Lofton Collection of books related to politics, civic literacy, and elections—areas of her interest and expertise as a Chief Election Inspector for the Village of Shorewood.

The Friends always welcome new members. If you’re interested in joining, simply take a flyer from the wall in the foyer or ask a library staff member at the front desk for assistance the next time you’re in the library. You can also go to the Friends of the Shorewood Public Library webpage and join there. Other than annual dues, you don’t have to do anything else. If you’d like to do more, we welcome that, too. You can indicate on the membership form what kind of volunteering you’d enjoy. And if you’re interested in serving on the Board, please contact us at McKenzie Edmonds will be in touch!

Jeannée Sacken

Friends of the Shorewood Public Library President

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