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Friends of the Grand Forks Public Library announces “Diversity” as Friends Focus for 2018

Grand Forks, ND – The Friends of the Grand Forks Public Library will shine a light on the diversity of the library’s programs and patrons this year.

The volunteer group has chosen “Diversity” as the theme of its annual Friends Focus, pledging $1,500 to the Grand Forks Public Library (GFPL) to help highlight the variety of its offerings, as well as the variety of backgrounds of those who walk through its doors.

“There is no better place than the public library to show everything that the community of Greater Grand Forks has to offer in terms of its people, its culture, and its educational opportunities,” said Friends President Debbie McLennan.

In addition to financial backing, the Friends will work closely with library and community leaders to creatively develop ways in which the GFPL can continue to foster an already welcoming environment and encourage engagement between visitors of all ages, interests, family compositions, ethnic backgrounds, and so much more.

In 2017, the GFPL offered 419 different programs for children, 36 for teens, and 304 for adults. The number of participants in those programs topped an incredible 18,000.

“We want people to recognize that there’s something for everyone at the library, from all walks of life,” said Friends Board Member Kaylee Cusack. “If you’re new to the area and want to meet people, the library has reading groups. If you’re a stressed college student, the library offers State Park passes for a quiet hike on the trails. Always traveling for work? They’ll set you up with free audio books and e-books to pass the time. The list goes on!”

Last year marked the inaugural Friends Focus, which emphasized support for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) activities for the area’s youth. The Friends gave $1,500 at the start of the year, but ultimately raised more than $5,000 for the GFPL’s STEM programs, volunteered at STEM activity days, and brought science-based fun to community events like the Town Square Farmers Market.

Everyone has challenges. Everyone has passions. Everyone has a story. Everyone has a place at the public library.

To learn more about the Friends of the GFPL and other opportunities, visit the Grand Forks Public Library website.

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