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Friends of the Iowa Library

For the Blind and Physically Handicapped

2016 Annual Report

 2016 was an exceptionally good year for both the Friends and patrons of the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.  We were able to make an $11,000 donation to the Library in 2016.  As usual, we helped fund some annual Library activities, including the Braille Challenge, the Perowsky Volunteer Workshop, and reading programs for borrowers of all ages.  With the purchase of digital cartridges and mailing containers, the Library launched a new, more efficient book distribution model. 

Young readers were better served by the purchase of educational items for a summer transition Library activity, expansion of the early literacy collection, and the One Thousand Books Before Kindergarten Program.  The large-print book collection grew with a $2,000 infusion of funds for The Friends. 

The Friends promotes the Library and its many valuable services throughout the year.  We set up booths at such Department for the Blind events as Low Vision Fairs.  We make presentations to the public.  We produce a quarterly newsletter.  We distribute fliers, magnets, card magnifiers, bookmarks, and signature guides with our logo and contact information on them. 

We shepherd the donations we get with great care.  As you can see from the chart on the next page, 83% of the money we receive goes to the Library, while only 17% goes to administrative costs. 

Because we have implemented even thriftier ways to distribute our quarterly newsletter, the percentage of funds needed for administrative expenses is continuing to shrink. 

You can help!  With state budget cuts and resulting staff layoffs, the Library needs our help more than ever.  Here are some of the things you can do:

·        Become a Friends member for just $20

·        Buy a $10 Smokey Row gift card and we get $3

·        Make donations at the Stuff, Etc., Stores around the state in our name and we get 50% of the sale price

·        Enjoy barbershop Christmas music at Java Joe’s each December for a $10 admission

·        Designate the Friends as your charity and we get .5% of your total purchase price at

·        Buy a “Be Among Friends” T-shirt for $15

·        Ask us to speak at your club or organization

·        Consider the Friends for donations and memorials

·        Respond generously to our annual fund-raising drive letter

·        Volunteer some of your time to help with Friends activities

To learn more about the Friends and what we do, visit our website at and read our quarterly newsletters.  Through your generous help and support, we can continue to enhance the services the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped offers to its patrons.  Thank you!

                                         David Hammel, President