Friends of the library keeps the lights on

Published 7:00 am Friday, July 31, 2015

DEDICATED DUO: Husband and wife Clifford Randy Holland and Kathleen Holland dedicate much of their time to the Friends of the Crosby Library. Photo by Ashley Collins.

The Friends of the Crosby Memorial Library have worked hand in hand with the library in Picayune for the past 50 years. Boasting around 375 members, the volunteer-run organization aims to ensure the library remains a prominent figure in the community.

The local organization was established in September of 1963. It was the first of its kind in Mississippi, said Kathleen Holland, vice-chairwoman on the friends of the library board.

Kathleen, along with her husband of 55 years, Clifford Randy Holland, have been involved in the organization since they moved to Picayune in 1977. Kathleen served as the chairwoman for around 20 years. Kathleen and Clifford, the program chairman, now serve under chairwoman Linda Hanberry.

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“She has gone above with her duties,” Kathleen said.

Clifford added, “We volunteer for friends because we love to do it.”

The Friends of the Crosby Library aims to raise funds and host educational events to promote the library’s numerous resources.

Their fundraisers and donations from the community allow the group to give back to the library. The friends of the library recently purchased chairs, audiovisual equipment and a multi-media projector for the library’s meeting room. They also bought new furniture, which currently resides at the library, paid for by the organization’s published heritage cookbook. The cookbook recounts the organization’s history and includes hearty recipes.

“We received a state of Mississippi friends of the library award for excellence in 2013 for our book,” Kathleen said.

Clifford shared the organization’s secret ingredients that have contributed to their success in the past five decades. He said one of the reasons they’ve been so successful is because everyone involved in the organization is dedicated to the library.

“There’s also a high level of mutual trust between the library and the organization and we don’t meddle in each other’s business,” Clifford said.

The organization not only raises money but also promotes education through their various programs, which take place at the library. Programs include musical performances, poem readings, science seminars and the brown bag book review.

The educational programs, along with the friends of the library board meetings, often take place inside Holland Hall, which is dedicated to the Holland’s.

“It was a nice surprise. When you live in the community, you have to give back. We want our community to grow and prosper and the library is a real economic engine, which will help do that,” Clifford said.

Friends of the library hold their board meetings on the second Monday of each month at Holland Hall. All community members are welcome to attend. Kathleen said membership is a one-time $5 fee, adding that donations are welcome.

“This library is very important to people and we want to help in any way we can,” Kathleen said.

The organization also holds their annual book sale every April to raise funds for the library. The books are often donated by the community and help generate money to go towards the library’s book budget.

The organization also reaches out to the community through newsletters, a radio program called Focus on Pearl River County and their numerous events.

“We’re all volunteers so every dollar we raise goes towards the library,” Clifford said.

The Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library is located at 900 Goodyear Blvd, Picayune, MS 39466. For more information about the friends of the library, call 601-798-5081. The library is open Monday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


NEW FURNITURE: The Friends of the Crosby Library purchased new furniture for the library on Goodyear Boulevard. Photo by Ashley Collins.

NEW FURNITURE: The Friends of the Crosby Library purchased new furniture for the library on Goodyear Boulevard. Photo by Ashley Collins.