I am pleased to give this report on the year 2019-20 for the Friends of Paynesville Library.

What a strange time we have been thru. The Covid19 virus turned our lives and any organisation upside down. Not being able to have a meeting due to lockdowns meant we were really non-existent for the year.  So my report will be very brief.

We did manage some book sales before everything  into shutdown mode. That was very fortunate as it became our only source of  income for some months. I would like to thank Petra for all her hard work organising these sales.  She does a tremendous job and makes sure everything runs smoothly.  Thank you to members who help out either selling or setting up.  I would like to thank Delia and Leanne for organising Council workers to come and get boxes from the cupboards and put them back on Sunday.  This is a great help as it is a very heavy job and not one that should be undertaken by the more senior members of the group.

The Short Story Competition was very  successful with over 70 entries. Judges were impressed with the entries and said they were the highest standard we have had. We did a lot of would we or would we not have the competition but decided that maybe people would be glad to have a project like write a short story. And indeed they were.  We changed our way of sending entry forms from brochures to A4 entry form that was emailed. We targeted the U3A groups and this seemed to be  a winner. We will continue with this approach.

 Thank you to Jill Ellis, Rosemary Douglas and Bill Cotter  for  once again officiating.. They do a wonderful job and make the experience for FOPLers very pleasant.  Thanks to staff for producing the short story booklet of winning stories.  Most appreciated by the winners.

During the year we donated to several causes – CWA East Gippsland Fire Relief were the beneficiaries of our January Book sale $1213.00. These funds were used to support farmers and families in East Gippsland after the horrific fires. It is always very rewarding to support this group as we are assured the money is spent locally and wisely. We donated $500.00  to Paynesville CFA, $200.00 to Qld fire relief and $200.00 to NSW Fire relief.  We also donated $96.00 to Charity Christmas Hamper. We purchased items for the library to the value of $425.00

I would like to thank Paul at Bairnsdale Web Design for again managing our website.  Every year I say what a great job he does and how quickly he puts information on our site and I say it again.  Thanks Paul.  He is going to upgrade our page but we have been waiting for the library to get back to its normal layout so we can take some photos.

During the year several of our members lost dear ones.  We would like you to know you are in our thoughts and I hope that the Friends can always provide love and companionship to you.

It is really hard to think of different ways to say the same thing!  But I would like to thank the Library staff for all their thoughtful and caring work during this difficult year.  I know many people must have missed not being able to visit the library not only to borrow books but also to see those welcoming  smiling faces.  From what I have heard Leanne and Sam and Delia made every effort to make sure readers were able to get books.  We really thank you for that and I am sure the whole community appreciated it.  It makes us realise what an important and necessary service the library gives to our community, young and old. The Friends were delighted that sale books were made available to readers to borrow.  Leanne and Sam made sure a table in the front area always had a good assortment of books. Another great way to help the community. Thanks girls.

Special thanks to The Advertiser for their co-operation in advertising and articles relating to the Friends.  A very special thank you to Jake who has been so helpful to our group taking photos and writing articles.

The Book Group  had a interrupted year  but it would appear that there is still solid interest in the group,  Special thanks to Helen Gywnn .

Thank you to East Gippsland Shire Council for their providing help with setting up and packing away books for our book sales and for the use of the hall.

Thank you  to Beryl for organising refreshment s for book sales, meeting and movies.  She always makes sure we have adequate  nourishment to sustains us. Thanks to Helen Jennings for her tasty cheese bikkies and cakes.  Thank you  also to members who help at the movies sessions.

Finally, thank you to Vice-President Diane Harris who has stood in for me when I couldn’t make a meeting, Treasurer Jan Gamble, Secretary Petra Hammond, Assistant  Secretary Helen Gwynn and Assistant Treasurer Sylvia Wilson for their continued support.  I really appreciate your continued help and encouragement. It has been  a delight to be your President.   Finally, thank you to all the members of the Friends for your support during the year – I hope 2021 is a year when we can return to some form of normality. 

 I wish the new office-bearers a  happy and productive 2020-2021 for the Friends of Paynesville Library.

Thank you


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