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Macomb Library Group Marks Milestone

Rich Egger

Friends of the Macomb Public Library District will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a dinner followed by a presentation from author John Hallwas.

He will talk about the history of Carnegie libraries in the US. The presentation will begin at 7:00 pm on Thursday, April 18 at the Macomb Country Club. It is free and open to the public. 

The dinner is only for members and their invited guests.

Friends Board President Kate Joswick said 150 households are members of the group. She said the Friends group is different than the Library Board of Trustees, which has members who are elected to oversee the taxing body.

So far the Friends of the Library has been the largest single donor to the capital campaign

“I compare them to the school board,” said Joswick of the trustees. “We (the Friends group) are more like the Bomber Booster Club.”

She said the group maintains the library grounds, supports reading groups, supplies free books for travelers who go through the train station, and takes part in several other activities.

Cindy Cavett helped start the organization after moving to Macomb from Burlington, Iowa, which she said had a strong group supporting the local library. She said something similar was needed in Macomb.

Credit Rich Egger
Cindy Cavett (background) and Kate Joswick

“People in this town recognized that and were happy to support it and go with it,” Cavett said.

Cavett ended up serving as the first president of Friends of the Macomb Public Library District. She said the group has expanded and taken on more responsibilities over the years.

Joswick said the biggest project the group has ever participated in is the ongoing campaign to raise $794,025 as the local match for a state grant of nearly $2.4 million. The money will pay for a two-story addition that will nearly double the library’s space.

“So far the Friends of the Library has been the largest single donor to the capital campaign,” Joswick said. “We’re very proud of being able to support that effort.”

She said the last the figures she’s seen showed roughly $600,000 had been raised.  The state has said the money must be in-hand by the end of June or the grant will go to another community.