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.

Winter Solstice & Holiday Weekend Schedule

Celebrate the Winter Solstice with a book, game or CD from our Book Shop.  Most titles priced at $1 or less.

While you’re at it, finish last minute holiday shopping in our Gift Shop.

Both Shops are located inside the Troy Public Library

Holiday Weekend Schedule:

  • Saturday December 23 – Book Shop (10AM-1PM), Gift Shop (11AM-4PM)
  • Sunday December 24 – Troy Public Library Closed
  • Saturday December 30 – Book Shop (10AM-1PM), Gift Shop (11AM-4PM)
  • Sunday December 31 – Troy Public Library Closed

Winter Solstice sm Continue reading “Winter Solstice & Holiday Weekend Schedule”

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.

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.

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”

Welcome to Our New Website!

Months in the making, hours of work and testing, and it’s finally time to welcome you to our new site!

Take a few moments and check it all out. Learn something new about the Friends, explore our Blog posts, and try all the menus.  If you like what you see, we’re happy!  If something isn’t working well, or if you have a suggestion for future content, let us know. We love to hear from our Friends, and we’re happy you’re here!

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.