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.

The Library Endowment Fund and the Friends: A Partnership in Action

Perhaps you’ve heard about the Troy Public Library Endowment Fund (http://troypl.org/endowment/) created for the benefit of the Troy Public Library.  Over the last year, nearly $60,000 has been raised to support the future of the Library and its operations. This money has come from public and private donors in the local community and beyond.

The Friends have been raising money for over fifty years to promote and support the TPL as well. Our money comes from sales in our shops, membership dues, donations, bequests, and grants. In fact, the Friends were the impetus for first having a library in Troy! With one small book drive and sale in the 1960’s, the dedicated group of volunteers donated seed money to begin the collection.

So what is the difference between the Endowment and the money the Friends donate back to TPL? Continue reading “The Library Endowment Fund and the Friends: A Partnership in Action”

Putting Books in the Hands of Those in Need

Our Outreach program is a core part of our operations. Each week, boxes of books are packed and donated to several civic, charities, schools, shelters, or veterans/hospital groups. Some of the places we’ve supported include:

  • The Veterans Affairs hospitals
  • Local elementary, middle, and high schools and teachers
  • Haven House and Gilda’s Club
  • Troy Community Center
  • District Court Jury Waiting room
  • Gleaners Food Banks
  • Salvation Army
  • CareNet Pregnancy Centers
  • Encore Upscale Resale in support of local Christian schools

If you know of a local charity that would accept our donated materials, please contact us at friendstpl@gmail.com.

Support the Friends with a SMILE!

The Friends of the Troy Public Library are partners in a program through Amazon.  It’s called Amazon Smile, and a portion of every sale completed through that program comes right back to us.  Even better, once you set up your account to benefit the Friends, you never have to do anything again – it will automatically route your purchases through the Smile program!  Here’s how it works:

  • Go to Amazon Smile via this link: https://smile.amazon.com/
  • Choose Friends of the Troy Public Library as your charity of choice
  • Shop to your heart’s content!

This simple decision to support the Friends is a small way for individuals to help…and together it adds up to big things for the Troy Public Library!