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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.





   2019 Charlevoix Memorial Day Parade

Projects ranging from landscaping and digitizing Charlevoix High School yearbooks to honoring veterans in the Memorial Day Parade, 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 over $20,000. Along with membership dues and other donations, this viable organization is able to maintain and manage a healthy budget. From 2004-2018, the Friends of the Charlevoix Public Library contributed $179,793 to the library for special projects.

Record of Project Expenses 2004-2018


Lifelong Learning:

The Friends of the Charlevoix Public Library with the generous support of the Leo S. Guthman Foundation, announce 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.

Fall 2019 Classes:

Join us this Fall for the Life Long Learning Program, offered by the Friends of the Charlevoix Public Library, and gain an in-depth understanding of some of the current topics and issues that affect us all.  This program has been designed in two parts: the first part is Class #1 (4 different sessions) which meets on Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m, the second part is made up of (6 sessions), Classes 2 – 7 and these are scheduled for Thursdays at 1:00 p.m.

Class #1 begins on Wednesday, September 25th at 1:00 p.m.  With the use of the Great Decision Briefing Books, Dr. William Wadland will facilitate these discussions.  These books are impartial, thought provoking guides produced by the Foreign Policy Association. They will be available to those who have registered in advance. Topics scheduled for discussion are as follows:  Decoding U.S. – China Trade (September 25th), Cyber Conflict and Geopolitics (October 9th), The United States and Mexico Partnership Tested (October 23rd) State of the State Department and Diplomacy (November 6th). 

The second part of this program begins with Class #2 on September 19th at 1:00 p.m.  Mary O’Leary Larsen will present Essentials of Immigration Law. Mary will explain the immigration system and why the path to citizenship is so difficult for so many.  In Class #3 (September 26th), Trooper Corey Hebner will focus on issues and dynamics of Human Trafficking. In Class #4 (October 3rd), Dave Clapp and Caroline Keson, local researchers, will present summaries of why Avian Botulism is taking the lives of so many of our loons, scoters and grebes in Lake Michigan.  Class #5 (October 17th) provides Duane Lawton the chance to introduce us to the Michigan section of the North Country Trail as an opportunity for a comprehensive backpacking adventure. In Class #6 (October 24th) Jack Segal, an experienced senior diplomat, will examine foreign policy throughout the last three years. The final class, Class #7 (October 31st) is an in-depth view of one of our local treasures, The Great Lakes Maritime Academy. A delight for those who are interested in the ocean and Great Lakes navigation.

Register for classes by calling the library at 231-237-7340.



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 2019, 20th annual sale will be held on Saturday, June 29th from 10 am to 5 pm and on Sunday, June 30th 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.  Last year’s annual 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 — 2019 Executive Board


President:     Betty Wadland

President Elect:     Jean Smith

Secretary:     Joy Price

Treasurer:     Debbie Mann

Members at Large:      Sandy Miles,  Pat Miller 

Membership:     Sam Lopresto

Book Sale:     Pauline McDermott

Lifelong Learning: Linda Moore

Michigan Room Representative: Cynthia Postmus

Publicity:  Kris Balaz

Library Board Representative:     Lynn Smolenyak

Library Director:       Linda Adams