Math never was my best subject, so it took me a few minutes to work out an answer to this word problem:
If 150 to 250 people visit the Mount Pleasant Library every day, and the population of Mount Pleasant is 1,548, how many days would it take for everyone in town to stop by the library?
That's the simplified version. If you take into account that the library in Mount Pleasant actually serves the whole eastern part of Cabarrus County, as well as folks from western Stanly and southern Rowan counties, the problem is harder.
What's clear is that this little library helps a lot of people. What many may not realize is that the library itself gets a lot of help from its friends, officially known as the Friends of the Mount Pleasant Library.
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Library manager Laurel Reisen calls the Friends group "our best friends." They make it possible for the library to offer special programs and they help with events, promote the library and provide funding for materials and supplies.
Kim Sholly, president of the Friends group, said one of her goals this year is to increase membership. Right now the group has about 50 to 70 members. If more people would join, especially students, Sholly said, the group could do even more to enhance the already impressive services the library provides.
Carol Baker, who works at the library, told me joining the Friends of the Library is one of the best bargains you can find. A family membership is $25 a year; individuals can join for $10 annually; and the rate for students is just $1 a year. Sholly pointed out that 100 percent of the Friends' money goes toward the library's needs.
So you know it's a great idea to join the Friends of the Mount Pleasant Library. Here's the best way to do it:
The Friends will have their annual meeting, open to the public, at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Mount Pleasant Library. After a brief piece of business - the election of officers - Kelly Swanson will take center stage.
Reisen arranged for Swanson to come to Mount Pleasant for the meeting. She is a storyteller, comedian and motivational speaker. All her stories are original, and they're delivered in a manner Reisen said will make you laugh, cry and just feel good.
If you'd like to know more about Swanson, visit the Friends of the Mount Pleasant Library's Facebook page.
I asked Sholly why it's so important to support our local libraries. She answered simply: Because they are worthy of support. The library truly serves all members of the community, she said, and we need to help those who help us.
That's what friendship is. So I guess her group is very aptly named.