When in doubt, go to the library.
— J. K. Rowling (1999)
The Friends of the Port Townsend Library, a nonprofit organization established in 1978, funds programs, services, and materials beyond what the city’s library budget covers. Our support comes primarily from donations and book sales. We welcome everyone.
The Port Townsend Public Library was founded in 1898 by volunteers and, thanks to continuing community support, has remained an active Carnegie Library since the present building opened in 1913. Today its per capita circulation is in the top five for public libraries in Washington State.
The Friends is one of three community organizations that support the library’s work. The Library Advisory Board advises Port Townsend’s city manager and city council regarding library facilities, operations, collections, and policies. The Port Townsend Public Library Foundation supports the library by raising funds for endowments, capital projects, and enhancement of library collections. Working together, the three organizations supplement resources the city can provide.
The strength of these organizations is living proof of the Port Townsend community’s support of its library.
The Friends runs entirely on volunteer power
Only through the dedication of a small army of volunteers—more than 100 at last count—is the Friends able to do What We Do.
Volunteers sort books, transport books, and set up books for book sales. Volunteers help staff one of the gates at the the annual Jefferson County Fair. Volunteers publish and distribute our newsletter and maintain our online presence. Volunteers keep our finances in order.
Volunteers do it because they love their library—and because it’s fun!
Ten Friends serve as board members
Bringing us valuable perspective from a few years on the board of the Friends of the Jefferson County Library, Deb works steadily to make our board the best it can be. She is an expert at keeping our meetings short, sweet, and to the point.
Our immediate past treasurer, Cindy likes travel and is not frightened of numbers. In fact, she prefers them to almost anything else besides birds and walking in England.
Miss a meeting? Read Paula’s minutes, and you’ll feel like you’re there. Paula also stewards our permanent shelf in the library of nearly new books for sale, works tirelessly at sorting and sales, and does it all with the brightest smile ever!
The library was Beth’s favorite place as a child. The first two things she did on moving to Jefferson County a few decades ago were to change her voter registration and get a library card—not necessarily in that order! Reading, gardening, hiking, and traveling occupy Beth’s free time when she isn’t “doing the books” for the Friends.
Fran helps manage our roster of supporters and organizational partners. Have a question? Fran will be happy to help you! Meanwhile, she wants to travel to the Yukon to see the Northern Lights.
Cheryl runs the Friends’ book sales. She’s the first to volunteer for just about any other task as well and has served on practically every committee we’ve had over the years. Plus, she plays the ukulele.
ELLEN W. CHU
Editing, Design, Newsletter
An ecologist and editor, Ellen is a fan of precision and nuance in words, music, and science. When not editing or fussing with type and layouts, she cycles or takes her binoculars and tries to see birds, marine life, or symphony musicians.
An avid reader all his life, Marc has been hauling boxes of donated books weekly for the Friends for over ten years. Now he coordinates our book sorters and curates books for sale. In his spare time, he likes to go camping, cook, bicycle, and dream of future travel.
Member at Large
Enjoying outreach, Nels helps wherever he can. He likes walking on the beach, cycling with other library-loving Friends, and connecting with the Port Townsend community through photography.
Member at Large
Geralynn knows many people and many stories in Port Townsend. Not only has she served the Friends’ board longer than anyone else, she persevered as our president for eleven successful years.