Book Lovers Become Friends of the Library

It’s a bold move for a library and they have their critics in the community, but the Friends of the Library of Collier County are counting on marketing to help them revitalize their membership roster. The fundraising arm that supports library programs in so many ways has been around for more than 50 years, but it is truly Naples best kept secret. They hired AboveWater to help them find out who their “friends” really are. The slogan asks  “Are you a Library Cardholder or Friend?”

The initiative brings to light the confusion people may have about being a member. Friends of the Library board member and Secretary Nita Leftwich puts it succinctly, “A library card is what the library does for you. The Friends are what you do for the library.” The campaign attempts to clarify the key role that the Friends of the Library play in supporting the public library system. The Friends of the Library of Collier County have contributed over $1.5 million to satisfy a variety of educational, recreational and technological needs at Collier County’s 10 library locations.

The organization relies in part on Friends membership dues to offer this aid. Several levels of membership are available, including a $25 Individual Membership and a $35 Family Membership. Since the campaign began in January, we have 251 new members and raised more than $20,000 in donations.

Friends of the Library of Collier County enjoy perks like previews for book sales and free exhibit space at the West Wing Art Gallery. They can get tickets to exclusive “fun”draising events like the  “Red, White, and Roulette” casino night held recently that raised nearly $16,000. Also, Friends receive advance ticket information and savings at the popular Nick Linn Lecture Series, which gives audiences a chance to hear from bestselling authors such as James Patterson, Dennis Lehane, and Nicholas Sparks.

For more information on the Friends of the Library, visit or call 239-262-8135.