Charlevoix Public Library  Where your imagination takes flight

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 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.



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 2018, 18th annual sale will be held on Saturday, June 23rd from 10 am to 5 pm and on Sunday, June 24th 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 made a significant contribution to the Charlevoix area to receive the Margaret Duerr Award.

The fifteenth annual Margaret Duerr Award will be presented on Wednesday, September 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the library’s community room. Each year the Friends of the Charlevoix Library honor an outstanding citizen or organization that has made a significant contribution to our town. Honored this year is Larry Levengood, community volunteer and board member of numerous city and school organizations. 

Along with a 41-year career in the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, Larry served on the Charlevoix County Planning Commission, the Charlevoix School Board, the Charlevoix Area Hospital Foundation’s Annual Support Committee and more.  His environmental projects include work on the recycling committee, Keep Charlevoix Beautiful, Tip of the Mitt and the Lake Charlevoix Association.

As a lifelong supporter of the library, he helped reorganize the Friends of the Charlevoix Public Library in 1999 as one of the original nineteen members.  He is an avid reader and has lead book talks at the library.

A family man who ran for and was elected to the school board in 1988, Larry, along with his wife Gayle raised three children in Charlevoix.  His love of family lead to coaching Little League, youth soccer, and recreational softball.  He also joined the band boosters and sports booster organizations.

Larry seems to be everywhere and helping everyone. According to Larry, “You volunteer because you want to be useful and do good work in the community. It is also a lot of fun and enjoyable to be with other people working toward a common goal.” Speaking for the library, Library Director Linda Adams shared, “I was so happy to hear that Larry would be this year’s award recipient.  He is a person who has done so much for this town.  Always with a smile on his face, the best of intentions and with a heart of gold.”

Speaking at this year’s event will be Charlevoix City Manager, Mark Heydlauff.  He will discuss the value and impact of volunteerism in Charlevoix.





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, Shelly Cole,  Pat Miller, Amy Pfluecke, Jean Smith

Membership:     Sam Lopresto

Book Sale:     Pauline McDermott

Lifelong Learning: Linda Moore

Michigan Room Representative: Cynthia Postmus

Publicity Chair:  Kris Balaz

Library Board Representative:     Lynn Smolenyak

Library Director:       Linda Adams