A New Chapter in the Book Shop: Grand Re-Opening!

 “How did you pay for the improvements?”

“Does this mean you’ll have less to give less to the Library?”

“Was it really necessary?”

These are some of the questions we’ve been asked lately as we worked through the renovations of our Friends Book Shop. So while we’ve been counting down the days to our Grand Re-Opening, we wanted to take today to count our blessings and explain how it all came about.

First, the renovation is fully paid for by the Friends of the Troy Public Library and was not financed or completed at the expense of any taxpayer. As a non-profit organization, we are not connected to the City or the City finances. None of the funding generated by our TPL millage is filtered through the Friends.

Moreover, deciding to spend money on ourselves was difficult. We typically only spend money to cover costs of our website, our phone service, necessary supplies to run our Book Shop and Gift Shop, and modest marketing/membership materials. The rest of what we earn is donated to the TPL. However, the Friends received a generous gift a few years back from the estate of a member and Library patron that allowed us to complete our renovation while continuing to give the majority of our revenues back to the Library. To be clear, we don’t have enough to fund an extra day of service as some have jokingly suggested we do, but we are happy to provide the programming and other enhancements the TPL community deserves and loves!

Finally, while our “before” space certainly allowed us to conduct business, many of the shelves and display units – initially donated from the upstairs public spaces – were over thirty years old and becoming increasingly dilapidated and possibly dangerous. A broken bracket here, a rickety table there, and we knew we had to finally make some changes. When the Library announced a closure to replace carpeting, we seized the opportunity to update.

And here we are today, on the eve of our Grand Re-Opening. We are thrilled with how the Book Shop looks, and we look forward to many more years of providing quality materials to all our patrons.

See you at the Library!

Donate Books and Other Items Now!

As of March 2, the Friends happily began receiving donations of gently-used books and AV materials again!  Please follow these guidelines when donating books, games, puzzles, and AV materials (Blu Ray’s, DVD’s, CD-ROMs, audio books, etc.):

  • We only accept items that are smoke, mold, and bug free – we cannot take anything that has been previously wet or underwater
  • All items should be free of tears, dents, writing, or other damage
  • We do accept rare and collectible books and materials
  • Unfortunately, we cannot accept the following:
    • encyclopedias
    • cassette tapes
    • time-sensitive magazines/periodicals prior to 2018
    • medical/computer books older than five years
    • business books older than ten years
    • textbooks older than ten years

All donations are tax-deductible within the limits of the law (please check with your tax advisor for specific details).  

Phase Three: Paint and Carpet

If you’ve been following along, you’ve seen the complete clearing of materials in our Book Shop, then the demolition/removal of all old furniture and shelving. The next step called for bright coats of paint and snappy new carpeting!

We’re expecting the shelving and other furniture items to arrive within the next five to six weeks. And then we’ll begin the process of filling the space back up with books, DVD’s, CD’s, records, and other fun items we select for you.

We miss all of our customers and volunteers, but we’re thrilled to be able to bring our all-new Book Shop back to life very soon.

In the meantime, check our the progress in the pics below!

The view looking toward the Children’s Section corner
How great is that carpeting? We love how all the colors come together.
Elevator lobby with signage. Even the elevator doors were refreshed.
Looking toward the entry doors and stairwell.

Ready for Remodeling

The basement Book Shop is now cleared and ready for remodeling! We’ll be sharing updates as we go along.

The first phase was packing away all the books and materials. Many faithful volunteers and the Book Shop management crew were on hand getting the books into boxes, shelves completely cleared, and details finalized for the renovation.

Soon we’ll have new carpet, new paint, all new shelving, a new sales area, and other adjustments to the shop in general. We can’t wait to show it off!

In the meantime, take a look at these photos. It’s the Book Shop like most of us have never seen it before!

The view from the former sales desk area
The Children’s section, ready for remodeling
No more mysteries here…just a space ready for a facelift
The newsstand is closed…for now!

Tell Us About Our Shop!

Our shops may be temporarily closed, but that doesn’t mean we’ve halted all our work! We’d like to gather some information from you about our lobby Friends Shop.

Did you know that the revenues from that shop – and the lower-level Book Shop – support the Library? That means the more we make, the more we give! And the happier our customers are, the better we’re able to give back to the entire library community. So we’ve created a survey to gather some data that will help us do our best.

Simply click this link, take the survey, and know that we thank you for your input. Your small investment of time could make a huge impact on our operations. Friends Shop Survey

Thank you!

Board Member Profile of the Month: Lou Wassel, Member of Many Trades!

This month, we present Lou Wassel: Board Member, car aficionado, TPL lover! Read all about Lou here!

What is your role with the Friends? List all jobs that you perform for the FTPL and for how long you’ve been associated with the same.

I am a Lifetime Member of the FTPL. In 2015, I became a Board Member – At Large. I currently serve on the Finance Committee, the Nominating Committee, and the Social Media Committee.

Briefly describe who you are – married, single, family, kids, interests, etc.

I am married and the father of four adult children. I also have one grandson, one dog, and two cats.  As for my favorite local hangouts, they include the Troy Community Center, the Troy Public Library (especially the Friends Bookshop), and the Dream Cruise or local car cruise venues when in season.

What is your educational and/or professional background? Continue reading “Board Member Profile of the Month: Lou Wassel, Member of Many Trades!”

Board Member Profile of the Month: Jeff Marraccini, IT Chair

Jeff Marraccini has been a member of the Board of the FTPL since September 2016, but he’s been a TPL lover for much longer.  Read all about Jeff here!

What is your role with the Friends? List all jobs that you perform for the FTPL and for how long you’ve been associated with the same.

Board Member, focusing on IT and web site development. I joined in 2016.

Briefly describe who you are – married, single, family, kids, interests, etc.

I am single but have a wonderful relationship with my partner Allison, and we both enjoy TPL! I was involved early in helping spread the Internet back before it was commercialized, and thus have had a lot of exposure to many computing platforms thanks to my alma mater, Oakland University, consulting, and my full time work. I enjoy helping others with computing and network issues, and have helped people recover / convert older word processing documents from extinct platforms so that they may become current ebooks!

What is your educational and/or professional background?

Graduated from Oakland University in 1994, Economics, Computer Science, and Anthropology. I have been with Altair Engineering in Troy for 20 years working in IT management.

What makes you passionate about the library and/or the Friends?

Books made me what I am, and I have enjoyed TPL even before I moved to Troy. TPL’s generous access to those that work in Troy is a tremendous benefit, and spreading the word about what the Friends and the TPL both accomplish is very important. The Library and the people I have met through it have been there for me, good days and bad, and by reading, using the databases, and attending events, I have learned a great deal about many topics!

What are your favorite types of books/materials to read?

Science Fiction, Technology, and (gasp!) Economics

Who is your favorite author?

Arthur C. Clarke

What is your favorite book?

Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke

Where do you see/hope to see the Friends in five years?

Online searchable Book Shop (don’t worry, I’ll help with it!), and helping TPL move to a larger, more current building.

What is the most valuable thing TPL offers the community?

Being open. I immediately feel brighter just walking into TPL and exploring. It was devastating when the Library was perhaps going to be closed for a while (during the millage decision issue), and I thank the entire community for coming together and helping ensure it remains in our community.

Recognizing the Value of our Wonderful Volunteers!

Every fall, it is our honor and privilege to recognize one of our volunteers for his/her outstanding performance and steadfast service at the Leadership Troy Annual Recognition Banquet.

Janice May was the honoree for 2017.

Janice exemplifies the best of the Friends of the Troy Public Library. For over
twenty years, she has brought her sweet, cheerful smile and caring wisdom to our
organization. An expert in all areas of the Book Shop, she happily greets and helps
every individual in her midst. Her vast knowledge of books, authors, and sales trends
helps make our Book Shop popular and profitable. In fact, we have an entire section
dedicated to her hand-picked titles! But perhaps most importantly, Jan remembers
details of all our families and asks after our welfare. She dispenses thoughtful advice in
an encouraging way; she hopes for the best for all of us, and she makes it clear that she
really cares. We are honored every day to have Jan May in our circle of Friends.

Giving Thanks

The Friends of the Troy Public Library are thankful to all of our Friends, our volunteers, our library patrons, and our customers.  Without the collective group, our work could not be done.

In the last year, the Friends have donated the funding for the programming of the library, the lobby furniture, and other enhancements that benefit the entire library community.

Our lobby Friends Shop is open daily, and our lower-level Book Shop operates every Sat./Sun. that the Library is open.  Visit us soon to see what we have to offer.  Additionally, watch this space for announcements of upcoming holiday events and special shopping experiences!

Thanks for supporting the Friends!

Important Issues and the Friends

Perhaps you’ve heard of an item on our November 2017 ballot regarding the Troy City Charter. The measure asks residents to alter the Charter to require a vote of the electorate anytime a city parcel of two acres or more is to be used, leased, or sold.  This was purportedly initiated as a way to protest the development of the Civic Center campus.

However, an approval of this measure would have far-reaching consequences that would affect multiple organizations and services within the City of Troy.  The Friends of the Troy Public Library are among them. As you know, the Friends use portions of the Troy Public Library for our Book Shop and our lobby Friends ShopBecause the Library sits on a City parcel of more than two acres, and we are housed within, we fall under the rule of the ballot language.

Thus, if this measure passes, we would need to gain approval from residents of the city on a general election ballot to continue running our operations. Should our agreement expire before an election is scheduled, we would be required to immediately cease operations and wait until after approval on a ballot to continue.

There are over 200 similar contracts and agreements in the City that would be under the same requirements, and each face similar damaging consequences.  In our case, passage of this measure would have a devastating effect on our ability to raise funds to support the programs of the Library. We would also likely lose many of our dedicated volunteers. Effectively, our work would come to a standstill.

To provide you knowledge with which to make a decision at the ballot box, we are holding an informational session on Sunday, October 15, 2017, from 2-4PM, in the Meeting Room of TPL. Doug Tietz, Oakland County Commissioner and former Troy City Councilman, will join us to offer insight and to answer your questions. Mr. Tietz was instrumental in creating the TPL Endowment Fund and is spearheading the “Vote NO” campaign.

We have worked tirelessly to preserve our beloved Library and to maintain the legacy of the Friends. Please consider attending and supporting the continued security of these precious institutions.