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The LeClaire Community Library, 323 Wisconsin St., LeClaire.

The LeClaire Friends of Libraries have been awarded the United for Libraries’ 2018 National Friends of Libraries Week Award.

The award recognizes its efforts during National Friends of Libraries Week.

The Friends received a certificate and $250, and were recognized at the United for Libraries’ Gala Author Tea at the American Library Association Annual Conference on June 24.

From Oct. 21 to 27, the group held a variety of programs for National Friends of Libraries Week for community members to learn what the Friends do, and encourage people to enjoy the library.

A formal ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony was held during Friends Week to honor the group's help in creating a new young adult area in the library. LeClaire mayor Ray Allen and Amy Blair, city council member and library liaison attended, and Allen read a proclamation recognizing National Friends of the Library Week.

Some of the programs held during Friends Week included ''Pumpkin Decorating", in honor of Halloween, and "Absolute Science" children, and a talk from local author, Bill Mueller, who spoke about his book Time to Ship Another Steer and what it was like growing up on an Iowa farm.

For the month of October, the Friends displayed their "mascot" — a giraffe named Stretch and other giraffe-related items in a display case. The group asked longtime library supporters, Friends members, library Board of Trustees, past library staff and patrons, to write a story about their involvement with the library, which they called Stretch Stories. The stories were also displayed.

Before each program, a member of the Friends was introduced by the library director to talk about their role in supporting and funding the library. The members stayed after each program to answer questions and ask people to join the group.

The group received 10 new membership applications during Friends Week. The Friends have approximately 40 members, representing a 25% increase in membership. The Friends also received a contribution to its endowment fund from one of the new members.

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