RIO GRANDE – The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College are working to bring new educational opportunities to the region.
The Friends of Davis Library helps expand this effort by providing students, faculty, staff and the community with a wide range of activities as well as fundraising and outreach events. Amy Wilson, director of the Jeanette Albiez Davis Library, said the program highlights the variety of events the Davis Library offers to the public.
“The Friends of Davis Library was created about twelve years ago when we discovered there was a need for this type of outreach in our community. We had people asking if we hosted author talks and similar events at the library, so we formed the program to get the programming and volunteer efforts needed to make it happen,” Wilson said. “The group’s activities are designed to stimulate the use and growth of the library’s collections and services. We work to promote the Davis Library’s significance and value both on and off campus.”
According to URG, the Friends of the Davis Library works to enrich the cultural, social, and intellectual life of Rio and our local communities. Each year, the organization hosts special events during National Library Week, National Banned Book Week and National Poetry Month to bring awareness to libraries and the different forms of literature available they provide. Wilson said these celebrations are important because they serve as a reminder of the necessity of libraries in the community.
“Critics today often question the need for libraries in our Internet connected and information overloaded society, such skepticism does not account for valuable educational role libraries play — particularly in terms as the ‘library as a place,’” Wilson said. “Libraries serve as more than just quiet spaces for learning and study. They are open forums where people come together to explore, share and debate a wide variety of ideas. This is why organizing and supporting such informal learning experiences through community outreach programs and special events is one of the main functions of the Friends of the Davis Library organization.”
Wilson said the group also works with other organizations on campus such as the Madog Center for Welsh Studies, the Rio Pantry and Little Storm Learning Academy to provide an even broader range of educational activities to the public. The Friends of Davis Library has also branched out into the region by supporting community events such as hosting a presentation with the cryptozoologist group Ohio Night Stalkers during the Mothman Festival in 2016.
“We feel it’s important to partner with other groups and work with our community partners like this are important in continuing to provide a public service in our area,” Wilson said. “It’s also important to support one another as we are all aiming toward the same goal of providing quality education in our community and working together on these events helps us keep those efforts moving forward.”
Membership in the organization is open to anyone interested in helping achieve its goals. To learn more about the Friends of Davis Library, or how to be involved with your local library, visit www.rio.edu/library or contact Amy Wilson at 740-245-7382.
Jessica Patterson is a communications specialist with URG.