Contributions to the Library
The Friends of the Winter Haven Library provide essential funds to the library for print and digital materials, programs and special projects.
In 2019 the Children’s Department received a complete renovation. While new flooring was provided by city funds, the rest of the renovation budget came from the Friends. New furniture, shelving, paint and an all new tween space were made possible through $67,000 from the Friends of the Winter Haven Library.
An anonymous donor offered funds to the library to promote inclusion for children on the autism spectrum and through collaboration with the Friends of the Library and the City of Winter Haven Facilites & IT Departments the Sensory Room was built to serve that need. The Sensory Room is a unique space for children on the spectrum to interact with an array of sensory experiences. The room is designed to allow children to customize their experience by choosing which sensory experiences they wish to use.
Prior to 2020 the Friends funded the entire collection budget for Overdrive, the library’s digital book, magazine and audiobook platform. Due to an increase in digital usage the city now also provides for the collection, but the Friends still provide 2/3rds of the budget.
In 2019 the library purchased a subscription to the streaming movie service Kanopy, made possible through funds from the Friends. Kanopy offers thoughtful entertainment through an on-demand streaming video platform that offers films and documentaries, as well as Kanopy Kids, which is exclusively children’s programming.
Support for the Excellence in Reading program comes from Friends contributions. Excellence in Reading has been a cornerstone of the Winter Haven Library’s Youth Services Department since 1982. Children read specially chosen books, take tests, and earn incentives and prizes along the way.
Since 2014 the Winter Haven Library has put on an annual lecture series that focuses on Florida-specific topics. The series has become so popular that to accomodate the growing attendance some of the programs had to be moved from the library to Nora Mayo Hall in the Florida Citrus Building. This series, and other programs, are sponsored and funded by contributions from the Friends.
Friends of the Library monies go toward online databases such as Rocket Languages which offers courses to learn several languages, and AtoZdatabases which provides Job Search, Background Check, Reference and Mailing Lists for patrons with a library card.
The Friends provide the library with over $39,000 in funds for print and A/V materials.