Grand Rapids Area Friends of the Library receives $2,500 from the Community Foundation



In response to COVID-19 guidelines, many of our valuable community organizations are temporarily closed to help keep our fellow citizens safe and well. However, there will come a time when they will re-open! Consider supporting them now so that when that time comes they will be financially stronger and better able to meet your needs! If you want to provide long-term support for the Library, you can give to the Grand Rapids Area Library Foundation Fund – right here through our website.

PHOTO: (L-R) Brianna Spry, Program Administrator at the Community Foundation presents grants to the Friends of the Grand Rapids Library to purchase books for Children and Teens programming to Mary Jo Wimmer and Dion Card.


The Grand Rapids Area Friends of the Library was awarded funding to help with children and teens programs. “The Friends of the Library continues to grow and expand services for children and teens in our community,” says Brianna Spry, Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation Program Administrator. “This volunteer group really makes a difference for our children and our local library.”

The mission of the Grand Rapids Area Friends of the Library is to support the needs, improvements and programs of the library and serve as a strong voice for the library in the community.

Children and Teens Programming

The Grand Rapids Area Friends of the Library is a growing organization. They have almost doubled their membership in the past year. Giving generously to the Children and Teens libraries and programs is a way of providing preventive help to youth in the community. This significantly benefits the community by helping children and teens learn, grow, satisfy their curiosity and come to love learning. They also advocate for the library in the community. The city of Grand Rapids has frozen funding for the library, so now more than ever the Friends must step up to help.

These grants help two projects this year. The first project provides lanyards for students to use to keep track of their library cards. While this seems like a small thing, children often identify strongly with their first "real card" at the library. Losing it is difficult for them. This will also help teachers who bring classes of students to the library, because they can easily store the cards on lanyards.

The second project is to update States of the Union books and Country books, which are used often, and quickly go out-of-date. The library will purchase updated books that focus on travel and exploration. This is especially important for students who do not have access to the internet in their home, making homework difficult. The library is a must-have for these students, and they need up-to-date resources.

Funding was mostly provided through Donor Advised Funds: Larry and C. Jeanne Cook Memorial Fund provided $1,000; the Kosak Family Fund provided $625; the Barzen Fund awarded $500; and Peter Burich and Gloria Sella Burich Fund rounded out the $2,500 request with $375.

The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation has been connecting donors’ charitable intentions to community needs for over 25 years to make our Greater Itasca Area – and the world – a better place to live. We invite you to become part of the good work we do, and to include us in the conversation with your financial or estate planner to answer the question “What good do you want your money to do?” For more information, call (218) 999-9100.

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350 NW 1st Ave, Suite E  | Grand Rapids, MN 55744  |  218-999-9100

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