SLIPPERY ROCK – The Slippery Rock Community Library Friends Group is more than just a volunteer and fundraising arm of the library.

“They’re always doing little things for us...We couldn’t get along without them,” said Karen Pierce, the library’s director.

That’s why Pierce nominated the group for the “Friends Group of the Year” award from the Pennsylvania Citizens for Better Libraries organization.

The group won, and Pierce is pleased that they’re being recognized for their hard work and dedication, which help keep the library doors open.

“I am so appreciative of everything they do to support the library,” she said, noting they also received the award in 2008.

The group has helped with large projects like raising money for the library’s new building, and small gestures like vacuuming the conference room and pulling weeds outside.

Pierce and Molly Breakiron, president of the Friends Group, will be traveling to Williamsport in late September to accept the award and attend some workshops and programs hosted by Pennsylvania Citizens for Better Libraries.

The organization’s website says that the “Friends Group of the Year” goes to a group that provides significant assistance to its library.

The group will receive a plaque. Pierce hopes to create a display case for the library’s awards, which include a handful from Slippery Rock University’s Student Nonprofit Alliance – they recognize commitment to the nonprofit sector.

Breakiron was excited to open the envelope that contained the award notification, Pierce said.

“I was very happy and surprised,” said Breakiron, who’s been a member of the Friends Group since 2006.

It’s encouraging to be recognized by Pierce and the state. The group is active year-round.

“We never stop,” she said.

The group is selling mums for $12 at the library or gift certificates for Kocher’s Grove City Floral, and there are two gift baskets being raffled off – a Pittsburgh sports team basket, and a basket with five Steelers tickets and related items.

The gift basket winners’ names will be drawn at the next used book sale, which will be held Oct. 25 and 26 at the Slippery Rock Township municipal building.

Tickets can be bought at the library, at the Slippery Rock Farmers Market on Saturdays, and a few upcoming dates (yet to be announced) at Slippery Rock Giant Eagle.

The Friends Group is still selling discount cards for local businesses, and they’ll be helping with the library’s Rock Con-event, which is set for Nov. 1 through 3 at Camp Bucoco, Slippery Rock. There will be role-playing, tabletop and card games, cosplay, vendors, food and more.

The library staff, volunteers, and Friends Group have a heart for literacy and the community, and their extra special touches make a difference, Breakiron said.

The group has 110 members, and new members are always welcome. Membership donations are $10, and applications are available on the library’s website and at the library.

Applications and raffle tickets will also be available at the booth that the Friends Group will have at this year’s Slippery Rock VillageFest, which will be Sept. 21 in downtown Slippery Rock.

Pierce said she loves the Friends Group; when a need arises that she hasn’t budgeted for, she goes to them and they find a way to help.

Their fundraising activities make up nearly 20 percent of the library’s budget, and their efforts help keep library operations running smoothly.

“A lot of people don’t know what the organization does behind the scenes,” Pierce said.

For more information about the Friends Group, visit “Slippery Rock Community Library Friends Group” on Facebook or the library’s website, www.slipperyrocklibrary.com. The library is at 465 N. Main St. New expanded hours are 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

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