How does FKBCL serve its community?
Friends of the Kirk-Bear Canyon library is dedicated to providing funding for services, supplies, and improvements for the library community, including its patrons and employees. This funding does not replace the library’s normal budget but supplements it with the extras that make Pima County Public Library and the Kirk-Bear Canyon branch special.
A large part of our funding goes to support programs for children, teens and adults. The list is very long: from Legos and storytimes for children; to crafts and reading incentives for teens; to lectures, fitness classes, concerts, and discussion groups for adults; to tutoring and computer education for all ages, the Friends have provided support over the years.
While many public services were obligated to pause during the pandemic period, the Friends’ work did not end. Because digital materials were in especially high demand, FKBCL donated money to purchase additional ebooks and audiobooks. Because in-person programs were not possible then, FKBCL arranged a series of virtual lectures by notable local mystery authors.
How does FKBCL raise funds?
We collect and sort donated books, which we then sell on the book cart located near the entrance of the library. We also sponsor used book sales throughout the year, and sometimes raffles, too. In normal years, look for a spring and fall book sale, with smaller pop-up sales in between.
We actively recruit memberships and donations from the library’s patrons and fans. Due to encouragement by the Friends, on two occasions children’s services at the library have been recipients of bequests in memory of cherished local residents.
Finally, we are the fortunate recipients of donations received through our community partnerships with Hughes Federal Credit Union and Fry’s Community Rewards.
Friends of the Kirk-Bear Canyon Library is a 501(c)(3) organization, meaning donations are tax-deductible.
Our Community Partners
FKBCL is grateful to Pima County and the Kirk-Bear Canyon Library, which accommodate our
book re-sale business and other activities.
During certain months of the year, Hughes Federal Credit Union facilitates Friends membership to its automobile loan customers. In recent years this community support program has provided significant contributions to Friends. Ask about their program if you are applying for an auto loan from Hughes Federal.
Frys Food Stores allows customers to designate Friends as their charity choice in its Community Rewards Program.
We are grateful to the Bear Canyon Mail Depot for its in-kind service to Friends.
Board of Directors Meetings
Board meetings are held at 10AM, either in the library conference room or via Zoom, the third Friday of the months January-May and September-October and on the second Friday of November. All members and prospective members are welcome to attend. The annual meeting is held in October. If you have any questions, please e-mail us at email@example.com.
In the 1990s a group of Tanque Verde Valley residents appealed to elected officials to expand library services for the growing population in the northeast Tucson area. Eventually some of these residents formed the Friends of Kirk-Bear Canyon Library (FKBCL), whose purpose would be to fundraise on behalf of the branch, to strengthen community ties to the library, and to advocate for literacy. In 1998 the group was chartered as a non-profit Arizona corporation.
The first archived FKBCL newsletter cheers the September 2005 reopening and remodeling of the branch as the building we know today: Along with the beautiful new furniture and equipment throughout the building, we now have a great area for teens, several café-like seating areas for adults, two conference rooms, and a lab with 10 computers. The spacious, new community room will be unveiled…. Photos in the newsletter documented the evolution of the building exterior.
Beginning in 2000, FKBCL began sponsoring community sales of “gently used” donated books. Along with monetary donations and membership fees, the funds derived from book re-sale efforts produced an ongoing stream of contributions to the Pima County Public Library. The contributions were applied toward community programs – for example, summer youth activities, tutoring and homework help, concerts, crafts, lectures, fitness classes, and supplies for children’s story times and holiday gifts – as well as occasional purchases of art or equipment that were outside the library’s normal budget.
Some of FKBCL’s most popular and enduring projects include the monthly book discussion group, initiated in 2000 by Friends members and sustained by reading enthusiasts in the area; the Bear Canyon Knitters, established by Friends members circa 2010 and carried forth by dedicated knitting hobbyists; and the Legos Club for children, introduced in 2010.
FKBCL has funded two notable exterior art installations at the branch, including in 2008 the “Canyon Cascade” near the library entrance, a stylized waterfall sculpture representing “the spirit of the library and its multifunctional purpose for the community”; and in 2021 the mural painted across the front of the branch’s east side, celebrating “flights of literary fancy in the context of area’s natural environment.”
In 2019 FKBCL was privileged to be accepted as a beneficiary of a Hughes Federal Credit Union program, in which a $10 contribution to FKBCL or other special interest groups entitles applicants to credit union membership. This status has given us a significant endowment beyond our traditional fundraising avenues.
FKBCL remains committed to recruiting new members and informing them about the benefits and impact of our community library. Our book recycling program is ongoing. We are always open to ideas for new partnerships with businesses or community organizations. Are you a member? If not, isn’t it about time?