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 History of Friends of Melbourne Beach

Submitted by: Jimmie Strazzo, Past President

Reflecting on the years the Friends of Melbourne Beach Library has been in existence, I had to ask myself, "Where did the time go?" We began as a grass roots group of citizens interested in establishing a library in Melbourne Beach. At that time a 7-11 was interested in building on the site where the library exists. Citizens had to ask themselves, "library or 7-11?" That was a no-brainer.

A formal Friends of Melbourne Beach Library was organized and its purpose and mission statement was to provide supplemental funds to enhance and enrich the library. We followed the guidelines of the Florida Library Association and registered as a non-profit organization with the State of Florida. The Friends were off and running. Fundraising began even befor the building was completed. It started with a huge undertaking. We sold the bricks that are at the entrance to the library and the tiles in the foyer. We even held book sales in front of the Town Hall. These events gave us a head start in assisting Frank Harris, the library's first director, in selecting the many needed items that the County would not include in their budget. Among them were first and foremost more books for the shelves than the number given by the County and improvements to the furnishings that enhanced the appearance of the library.

Over the years the Friends have raised all of the money through book sales, annual golf tournaments, memberships, grants and donations from citizens and the Melbourne Beach Rotary Club. As the library budgets from the County decreased each year, the need for help from the Friends increased, and the Friends have always stepped up and provided the necessary funds. Although the Friends Board of Directors select and conduct the fundraising projects, none of the events could be held without the services of the faithful and loyal volunteers. They give tirelessly of themselves and their efforts enable the projects to succeed. Kudos to all of them.

Besides the fundraising, the Friends have given back to the community by providing musical, theatrical, dramatic and educational programs for adults and children. The programs are always well received with packed houses in the large meeting room. As libraries are no longer just about books, the Friends have assisted in purchasing computers, DVD's, CD's and other forms of media that patrons requested. These are available to all citizens who use the library.

It is hard to believe the Melbourne Beach Library opened it’s doors in 2002. It remains one of the top libraries in the County, and with the Friends Board of Directors and continued participation of all the citizens it will remain on top.


PO Box 510885
Melbourne Beach, FL 32951
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