Avon population

Friends of CT Libraries pay tribute to Friends of Old Lyme Library

On Saturday, June 11, Friends of Connecticut Libraries (FOCL) honored Friends of the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Library (OL-PGN.)

BookCellar Co-Chairs Joan Overfield (immediately left of podium) and Claudia Condon (second from left of podium) receive the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library Award from Friends of Old Lyme from Friends of CT Libraries.

The prize, which was awarded to municipalities with less than 15,000 inhabitants, recognized OL-PGN for its work with the community during the pandemic when the library was closed.

OL-PGN BookCellar Co-Chairs Claudia Condon and Joan Overfield traveled to Avon, Connecticut to accept the award at the FOCL Annual Meeting.

The citation for the award recognized that Phoebe’s BookCellar had been in continuous operation for over 25 years. During this time, volunteers have worked to create opportunities to expand the library’s reach as well as raise awareness of BookCellar and its support of Old Lyme Library. (One hundred percent of revenue generated by the BookCellar is donated to the library to support its programs.)

The quote continues: “While the library and BookCellar were closed for an extended period during the pandemic, volunteers continued to find ways to raise community awareness, as follows:

Lots of children’s books
Volunteers assembled age-appropriate 3-5 book bundles and distributed them to 116 children served by Shoreline Food Pantries.

Small free libraries
BookCellar volunteers initiated support for two small free libraries by filling them with excess inventory.

Phoebie’s gifts
This cart is located outside the library’s main entrance and offers patrons a choice from the BookCellar’s excess inventory of books and media. It is extremely popular and accessible to everyone.

Sensitization of teachers and staff in region 18
The Friends of the Library have presented each teacher and staff member with a BookCellar gift certificate for the 2020-2021 school year.

Outdoor book sales
Several pop-up sales have been created outside the library during the pandemic. They have been expanded to include refreshments and entertainment by local groups.