The 2014 Givin’ Where I’m Livin’ (GWIL) campaign provides support and publicity for local non-profit charitable organizations competing for GWIL matching funds during the campaign’s Week of Online Giving, April 20-25th. Around Dripping Springs is pleased to feature this series of GWIL non-profit profiles to help publicize their unique missions to the community. We invite you to get to know these wonderful organizers and learn more about the important work they are each doing to enrich our community. Please share their stories, and be sure to donate to your favorite during the Week of Online Giving! Learn more at: http://www.GivinWhereImLivin.org
NOW MEET THE FRIENDS OF THE DRIPPING SPRINGS COMMUNITY LIBRARY WITH PRESIDENT BOBBIE HENTSCHEL:
In 1983, Ronald Reagan was President, Bill Clements was the Governor of Texas, and Dripping Springs began its third year as an incorporated city, home to about 600 residents. Among them was a group of visionaries who joined in a common goal: to get Dripping Springs its own Library. They were the first Friends of the Library, and many of them continue to be Friends today.
For 30 years, the all-volunteer Friends group has devoted its efforts to making sure that Dripping Springs enjoys all the free services that only a great Library can provide. The first Library was housed in Dripping Springs High School, but when area growth made that no longer an option, the Friends on a massive effort to secure land and funding and, in June 1998, the Dripping Springs Community Library opened its doors at his current location (501 Sportsplex Drive). Furniture was acquired and refinished after the Friends made a visit to the University of Texas furniture warehouse, and books came out of storage to fill the shelves.
That same year, the Friends of the Dripping Springs Community Library, Inc. was incorporated and granted 501(c)3 nonprofit status. The next year, voters approved the creation of a library district, which expanded the Library’s service area to include the entire Dripping Springs Independent School District: a population of more than 25,000 today.
WHAT IS YOUR MISSION?
From its humble beginnings as a lending Library for 600 residents, today’s Dripping Springs Community Library offers free services to anyone who works or resides within the DSISD or Hays County. It is the mission of the Friends to foster the awareness and appreciation of the Library, to support the ongoing improvement of its services and technologies, to encourage its use and to create links between the Library and the greater community.
Over the years, the Friends’ efforts have helped the Library provide programming for all ages, increase collections, purchase equipment and offer new technologies. Some of these include:
- Genealogy Research Resources
- Books, Audio Books, DVDs
- Magazines, Newspapers
- 20 Computers
- Almost 50,000 Titles
- Free Internet Access and WiFi
- 200 children’s programs annually
- 2 book clubs for adults
- Teen Advisory Group
- Community Service Hours
The Friends also link the Library with other community and civic interests through participation in events such as Founders Day and Christmas on Mercer Street, and with organizations such as Operation Gratitude. Friends’ board members make a point of being “Friends” to the community by supporting the efforts of other local nonprofits.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE COMMUNITY THROUGH YOUR ORGANIZATION’S EFFORTS?
Certainly, when the Friends succeeded in opening the first 5,500 square foot Library in Dripping Springs – on donated land and without incurring any debt – it was a memorable event for the community. Then, in 2005, the Friends supported the addition of a 3,700 square foot children’s wing, in response to the needs of our growing population.
Through the years, for fun – and fundraising – the Friends have hosted auctions, fashion shows, art exhibits, home tours and, of course, meet-the-author events. With the help of the money raised, the Library has been able to add computers, relevant software, free WiFi and Internet access and – just recently – digital eBooks and eAudiobooks.
In addition, the Friends and Library both offer community service opportunities to local teens, and Friends members regularly volunteer at the events of other nonprofits and service organizations. In addition, the Friends group sponsors the local efforts of Operation Gratitude, offering local residents the opportunity to send letters (or drawings, if you’re of a certain age) of appreciation to our military men and women serving overseas
Last year, to commemorate 30 years of service to the community, the Friends’ goal was to update its image and operations. With a new logo and membership campaign, increased media connections and a streamlined financial process, we exceeded our own goals.
Very often, people are surprised when they first walk into the Dripping Springs Community Library: surprised that it is so large, comprehensive and up to date. But too often, we still hear things like “This Library must be one of Dripping Springs’ best kept secrets!” or even, “What? There’s a Library in Dripping Springs?” vSo as we look ahead to the continued growth of our community, we will focus on increasing the awareness and relevance of both the Library and the Friends.
We hope to strengthen our relationships with all sectors of the community, paying special attention to area teens. And as part of helping the Library continue to bridge the digital divide for those who may otherwise be left behind, we plan to increase our own online presence and assist the Library with its plans to stay up to date.
Our annual fundraising events include booths at Founder’s Day and Christmas on Mercer Street; our Pouring Over Books (meet-the-author wine tasting) event in the fall; the popular Dining Out Around Dripping Springs raffle in the winter, and our ongoing membership campaign. (And, of course, Given’ Where I’m Livin’!)
Bobbie Hentschel, President; Karen Crowther, Vice President
Jan Robinson, Treasurer; Mary Claypool, Secretary
John Hoag, Newsletter Editor; Stephanie Trexler, Promotions
Dominique Levens, Hospitality
WEEK OF ONLINE GIVING:
APRIL 20-25, 2014
GIVIN’ WHERE I’M LIVIN’ http://www.givinwhereimlivin.org
DS COMMUNITY FOUNDATION http://www.dscommunityfoundation.org
http://www.tinyurl.com/GWIL2014FFL (Friendships for Life)
GWIL2014 IS SPONSORED BY: