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Friends of library hear about 'Speaking with Confidence'

November 25, 2008

The Friends of the Washington County Free Library hosted a program titled "Speaking with Confidence," featuring inspirational speaker Julie Gaver.

Gaver used her professional speaking and corporate training experience to present techniques to achieve effective library advocacy.

The interactive and entertaining work session kicked off the Friends community outreach program.

To fund this work session, the group applied for and received a grant from the Citizens for Maryland Libraries. This grant supports the Friends in promoting Friends memberships, Washington County Free Library programs and funding initiatives.

Volunteers and membership dues make programs such as the Summer Reading Program, Summer Foreign Language Program and the English Conversation Club, for foreign language speakers, available to Washington County residents.

Mary Baykan, library director, told the group that the central and branch libraries have seen a 50 to 80 percent increase in patron visits since this time last year. Economic downturns bring more people seeking free entertainment such as books, movies, and music programs as well as resources for finding jobs. Baykan touted the library as a "major tool in an economic recovery."

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Armed with tips, techniques and confidence, volunteers will focus on speaking to community organizations, education groups and churches.

With the theme of the outreach program "Strength in Numbers," speakers will seek new members and volunteers to support library services and funding. Call Judith Ferro at 301-824-3741 if your organization would like to have a Friend speak at one of your meetings.

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