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Friends of CPL

The Friends of the Charlevoix Public Library

“It is thanks to the passion, dedication, and tireless work and support of the Friends of the Library that we are able to serve this community in all of the many ways you have come to expect as well as to go above and beyond.” -Ryan Deery, 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 funding from Lynne and Mason Rosenthal, 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.

***Check back for the new class schedule planned for Fall 2021.***


Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale – A Great Success!

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 sale took place on the front sidewalk of the Library, continued in the Community Room and in the 2nd floor 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.  Annual sales net over $6000 – this year surpassed all others, raising nearly $9,000!

See the Community Room during the June 2021 annual sale below:



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 16th annual Margaret Duerr Award was presented on Thursday, October 3, 2019 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 the Michigan Room Committee, consisting of  Mary Ann Chew, Cynthia Postmus, Kay Heise,  and Marilyn Novak.

These four volunteers were the original driving force behind the effort to renovate and create our present library. They continue to contribute by spending countless hours volunteering. The committee is responsible for appraising the rare book collection, preserving Charlevoix newspapers, providing obituary records for the library’s web page and promoting historical exhibitions.  

The Margaret Duerr Award was established in 2003 in recognition of Margaret’s longtime service to the Library and in particular to the Michigan Room. During her tenure as the Interim Director she organized the move to 109 Clinton Street in 1967.

This years speaker was Lois Spregnether Keel. Lois combines her training in theater, her work as a librarian, and her love of history to bring us a unique form of storytelling. The program, High Times in the Dry Times, visually in story and songs tells of the “Noble Experiment” (prohibition) in Michigan history. Told from the view point of a woman reporter, the performance included some of Charlevoix’s history and visits by the notorious Purple Gang.

A reception followed, sponsored by the Friends of the Library. 


Previous recipients dating from 2003 include: 



Friends of the Library — 2021 Executive Board

The board meets the first Tuesday of every other month at 10 a.m.

President: Jean Smith

Vice President: Linda Linklater

Secretary:  Tom Richards

Treasurer:  Steve Hall

Members at Large:  Deb Mann, Sandy Miles, Mary Millington, Diana Hilligan, Birute Fleck, Linda Moore

Membership:  Betty Wadland

Book Sale:  Mary Ann Chew

Lifelong Learning:  Linda Linklater, Linda Moore, Birute Fleck

Michigan Room Representative:  Marilyn Novak

Publicity:  Kris Balasz

Board of Trustees Representative: Tom Conlan

Library Director:  Ryan Deery

Updated June 2021