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Friends of CPL


The Friends of the Charlevoix Public Library

 “As the ‘living room of the community’, the Friends are the family that support us every day in this building and make it possible for this library to offer what we do.”     -Linda Adams, Director of the Charlevoix Public Library


The Friends of the Charlevoix Public Library annually extends an invitation for all Charlevoix residents to join this non-profit organization. For a nominal fee of $5.00 (individual or family) membership is a way for residents of the area to gain ownership in, become more involved with and actively support their library. 

This may be the biggest bargain in town, for while membership money is minimal it packs a big punch. Along with additional donations the proceeds from the on-going and summer Book Sale, monies collected are used to fund projects, concerts, events, programs, exhibitions, and buy books for the children’s section of the library. Membership also affords the opportunity for community members to volunteer.      

Membership Form:
View membership form here.  Mail completed form with your check to; Friends of the Library Membership, c/o Charlevoix Public Library, 220 W. Clinton St., Charlevoix, MI 49720)



Michigan Room Committee: This group is the original driving force behind the effort to renovate and create our present library. They continue to contribute by spending countless volunteer hours. 

The Michigan Room Committee is a subsidiary of the Friends group and has been responsible for appraising the rare books collection, preserving historical Charlevoix newspapers, providing obituary records for the Libraries’ webpage, promoting historical exhibitions, and creating the Margaret Duerr Award to honor outstanding citizens or organizations who have made significant contributions to our town.

Photo L-R  Kay Heise, Mary Ann Chew, Marilyn Novak and Cynthia Postmus





Friends volunteers meet every Wednesday to sort,

organize, and shelve used books available for purchase

by the public.





Projects ranging from landscaping to digitizing Charlevoix High School yearbooks, the Friends stand ready to supplement the Library’s budget and consider proposals for funding. Each year the on-going and the annual summer Book Sale nets almost $15,000. Along with membership dues and other donations, this viable organization is able to maintain and manage a healthy budget.

Click here for a list of projects completed by the Friends:
(2004 thru 2016)


Lifelong Learning:

The Friends of the Charlevoix Public Library with the generous support of the Leo S. Guthman Foundation, announce the launching of an exciting new concept in continuing education.  Modeled after several successful adult learning programs offered at libraries across the nation, Charlevoix’s fall sessions will be offered on several Wednesdays and Thursdays over a period of three months:  September, October, and November.  The winter sessions will run in January, February, and March.  The plan is to offer classes dealing with both local and global issues, targeted at adults who are interested in investigating and in discussing current topics in a small group setting with a knowledgeable facilitator.


Winter 2018 Classes

Classes with multiple sessions are meant to be taken in a series. Please sign up for all sessions within the class to be registered for all of them. Click on the date to go to the registration page. 


Great Decisions

Go beyond the headlines of today’s issues in this lively discussion group that explores significant global concerns.  Great Decisions briefing books published by the Foreign Policy Association are the primary resource.  The impartial materials provide thought-provoking analysis in a written guide completed by updates and PBS video segments.  Briefing books will be made available to those registering, with the expectation that the material will be read in preparation for each class.  Dr. William Wadland will be the facilitator for these discussions. All sessions take place from 1:00 to 2:00 pm in Community Room A.

William (‘Bill”) Wadland, M.D. (’75, UM), M.S. (’88, Research Design and Statistics, UM) is the ‘facilitator’ for the adult education program on Great Decisions at the Charlevoix Library.  Bill is a professor emeritus of family medicine and former chairperson and senior associate dean for faculty affairs in the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. His research interests are health promotion and disease prevention. He is also the Deputy Editor of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM), the top rated journal on prevention. 

The Friends of the Library invited Bill to lead the Great Decisions program this fall.  Before giving an answer, Bill looked up the definition of the group leader or facilitator according to the Foreign Policy Association that sponsors the program. “The group leader does not need to be an expert on the issues, but he or she should be able to encourage the most participation for each member of the group.” Bill said, “Yes, I can do that. I have been teaching as a facilitator for over 24 years at MSU, leading small groups of students to engage in shared learning.”

Wednesday, January 17 – The Waning of Pax Americana

Wednesday, January 31 – Russia’s Foreign Policy

Wednesday, February 14 – China & America

Wednesday, February 28 – Media & Foreign Policy


Storytelling: True Stories Told Live

When Karen Stein moved from Chicago to Traverse City she brought her passion for live stage storytelling.  Here:Say was born of this passion and Karen helps a diversity of performers prepare personal  accounts from their own lives.   Spoken not read, prepared but not memorized, the stories are from the heart of the individual storyteller.  Karen Stein will share her own experience and process for producing the once a month Here:Say event.  Discussion, questions and sharing will follow.  Whether telling a story on stage or to children or grandchildren, giving a toast or a eulogy or interviewing for a job, telling a personal story connects the audience in a valuable shared experience. 

Thursday, January 18 -Karen Stein, Creative Artistic Director of Here:Say Traverse City



The History of Cross Village

Cross Village, the key to the Fur Trade at Fort Michilimackinac, once the largest Odawa settlement and once speculated to be the next Chicago ….what caused its demise?

This talk, by Jane Cardinal, writer and designer/historian for the L’Arbre Croche Museum, will be presented with historic photographs.  It will briefly cover the early days of interaction with the missionaries and various European cultures.  Stories of special “characters” will enrich the tale as well as how the only Native American company in the Civil War, Company K was formed.  Then it was gone…but not forgotten.

Thursday, January 25


Our Great Lakes

This session will give an overview of key Great Lakes issues including lake level variations and erosion; food web ecology changes; harmful algae blooms, and fishery changes.  Come and learn about progress in cleaning up polluted sediment areas and what’s next on the North American Freshwater Seas.

Each session takes place from 1:00 to 2:00 pm in Community Room A.

Thursday, February 1– Current Issues

Thursday, February 15 – Green ER

Thursday, February 22 – The Survey Vessel Steelhead



Friends of the Library annual book sale:

Books, books and more books!  Great bargains on thousands of books: mass market, children’s, even rare and collectible books and gently used  CDs and  DVDs…all on sale at the Friends of the Charlevoix Public Library’s annual book sale. 

The 2017, 18th annual sale was held on Saturday, June 24th from 10am to 5 pm and on Sunday, June 25th from 1-5 pm. The sale spilled outside on the front sidewalk of the Library and continued on the 2nd floor where hallways and rooms had been temporarily added to the on-going sale room in order to accommodate the large selection. The Friend’s most significant fund raiser of the year, the annual book sale proceeds are used to fund new books, materials and programs for the Library’s children’s department.  This year’s sale netted over $6000.


Friends Digitize Historical Charlevoix Obituaries

The obituaries from the Charlevoix Journal 1883 to 1890, the Charlevoix Sentinel 1920 to 1936, and the Charlevoix Courier, 1908 to the present day, have all been entered, and are all searchable on the library website!

Soon after the Friends of the Library organized in 1999, a small group of four volunteers, the Michigan Room Committee, began The Obituary Project. The librarians had reported that there was a need for obituary information to be accessible, due to a large demand by genealogy researchers. So the Committee spent two years sorting and saving stacks of unorganized old issues of the local papers found in the basement of the old library. A scanner was purchased by the Friends, permission to use the newspapers was obtained from the publisher, and the first obituary was placed onto the librarys website in 2003.

At an old computer in the basement storage room of the old library, where warmth was supplied by a portable heater, a searchable data base was developed, information was entered, and images of original obituaries were scanned.  (The current Beyers Friends Room facilities have been a huge upgrade for this work!)

An integral part of the project was for the staff to move forward by adding new obituaries as they appeared in the current papers. Marti Chester, Erika Powell, Linda Adams, and  Davonne Rogers have been contributors to this effort, and Roger Gowell has provided technical assistance.  Many thanks to them.

Tremendous thanks to the Friends volunteers who have participated in large and small ways to the past fourteen years of data entry!  They are:

Eugene Ackert,  Suzanne Ackert,  Elizabeth Allan, Sarah Benitez, Alberta Beyers, Larry Burgess, Mary Ann Chew, Judy Colt, Jerry Corley, Judy Corley, Toni Felter, Kathy Gowell, Don Heise, Kay Heise, Marilyn King, Marilyn Novak, Nancy Porter, Cynthia Postmus and Mary Snider.

Approximately 16,000 obituaries from over 6,000 newspapers have been entered. Click Here to see what is available. 


Margaret Duerr Award:

Annually, the Friends of the Library’s Michigan Room Committee selects an individual or group who has demonstrated an interest in the preservation of the history of Northern Michigan to receive the Margaret Duerr Award.

The fourteenth Margaret Duerr Award was presented on Tuesday, September 19th at 6:30 pm in the Library’s Community room. Honored this year is Rick Brandi, Charlevoix City Treasurer for twenty-seven years and a member of the Library Board of Trustees for nineteen years, most importantly during the renovation of the 1927 school building into the present library.



William Rapai was speaker at the 2017 Margaret Duerr Award ceremony on September 19. He was chosen to compliment one of the passions of the recipient: conserving and protecting our environment. He spoke on the danger facing our Great Lakes with the introduction of invasive species. He is a former newspaper editor who has worked for The Free Press and The Boston Globe. The book that was referenced in his speech is entitled Lake Invaders: Invasive Species and the Battle for the Future of the Great Lakes.



Previous recipients dating from 2003 include: 




Friends of the Library — 2018 Executive Board


 President:     Betty Wadland

Past President:     Peggy Gallinat

Vice President:     Birute Fleck

Secretary:     Joy Price

Treasurer:     Debbie Mann

Members at Large:     Kris Balaz, Christine Brey, Sally Campi, Amy Pfluecke, Jean Smith

Membership:     Perry Irish Hodgson

Book Sale:     Pauline McDermott

Lifelong Learning: Linda Moore

Michigan Room Representative: Cynthia Postmus

Library Board Representative:     Lynn Smolenyak

Library Director:       Linda Adams