The Friends of the Library
Now in its 50th year, the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library is a nonprofit, charitable 501(c)(3) organization that supports the library and promotes its vital role in our community. Chartered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1970, the Friends has a board of 12 volunteers, elected annually by the members. With about 750 member families, the Friends help the library by organizing programs listed below, volunteering at events, book signings, semi-annual book sales, as well as funding educational activities for the library staff and museum passes for patrons. Please review our volunteer opportunities and contact us if you are interested in volunteering for any of these events.
Benefits of membership include early notification to many of the programs supported by the Friends, including author & poetry readings, musical performances, museum passes, film series, summer concerts and more.
To join the all-volunteer Friends, please download and return our membership form, below.
Our gifts and programs are funded through memberships, sales of donated books, and sales of Historic Concord, a book published by the Friends.
Current Friends Officers:
Aiyana Currie, President
Matt Boger, Vice President
Stephan & Faith Bader, Co-Treasurers
Janet Kaminstein, Booksales
Richard Fahlander, Membership
Betsy Levinson, Publicity
E. Glenn Mitchell, Poetry Series
Erin Piro, Clerk
Anne Irza-Leggat, member at-large
Nancy Lyons, member at-large
Connect with us!
Book Sales and Donations
Our Annual June Booksale is scheduled for September 11, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (Rain date: September 18, 2021)
The Friends' Holiday and June book sales are our biggest sources of revenue as well as being much loved community events. The heart and soul of this year-round operation is a team of over a dozen enthusiastic volunteers who sort the many volumes donated to the Friends each year and prepare them for the book sales.
Please drop off your book donations by the elevator near the Reference Desk in the Lobby. You may also borrow a rolling bin from the Circulation Desk and wheel your donations to the drop-off spot. If you have a large donation and/or require assistance, please email the Friends of the Library to coordinate an appointment.
We thank our online bookseller partner for the gracious use of the book bins near the Sudbury Road lot over this past year. These bins provided a means for patrons to donate books and for the Friends to receive a portion of the proceeds of all books sold. The bins will be removed at the end of July.
All Passes (unless otherwise noted) are funded by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library and may be used for free or reduced admission. Please contact the library if you have suggestions on museums that you would like to see added to our list. Existing passes include Boston Children’s Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Science, New England Aquarium, and many others.
Films at Fowler
Films at Fowler is a FREE event sponsored by the Friends and include popcorn and refreshments. All are critically acclaimed international films carefully selected by the Film Program Coordinator that invite conversation both before and after each film. Films are at 7:00 pm and doors open at 6:30. Please refer to the Events calendar for an upcoming schedule. Note that the film series continues to run during the pandemic via self-screening on Kanopy (free from the Library) as well as a lively discussion on the film.
Movies for Tweens and Teens
Movies offered at the Main Library, appropriate for middle school age children as well as Monthly Teen Friday Flicks offered for high school students.
The Poetry at the Library Series brings established and emerging poets to the Concord Library community. Each year, the Friends host six to seven readings with Q and A, followed by book signings and light refreshments. Most readings occur on Sundays at 3 PM in the Main Library, with an occasional Saturday evening poetry event.
Music on the Lawn or Concert on the Lawn is a free enjoyable, notable and diverse music offerings on the Main Library front lawn on select Wednesdays during the summer at 7:00 p.m. Please refer to the Calendar for further details on this summer's series.
Additionally, Music from the Library every year since 1997 from late January through March/April. Notable musicians from the greater Boston area and other parts of the country perform at the Music from the Library series.
Inspiring and topically relevant author readings throughout the year. We have hosted distinguished historians such as Drew Gilpin Faust, Nathaniel Philbrick, and Doris Kearns Goodwin, as well as recipients of the Ruth Ratner Miller Memorial Award for Excellence in American History.
- Festival of Authors
The Ruth Ratner Miller Memorial Award for Excellence in American History has been presented by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library annually since 2001. The award was offered to the Concord Library by Concord resident Richard Miller, to honor the legacy of his mother, a founding member of the Holocaust Commission and Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. Dr. Ruth Ratner Miller believed that learning history was not merely desirable but a civic and religious duty.
Videos of many of can be seen on the YouTube Ruth Ratner Miller Award playlist.
Past Miller Award recipients:
1998 Stephen Ambrose
1999 James M. McPherson
2000 Thomas H. O'Connor
2001 Daniel J. Boorstin
2002 Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
2003 Sandra Day O'Connor
2004 Edmund S. Morgan
2005 David Halberstam
2006 Doris Kearns Goodwin
2007 John Hope Franklin
2008 David Hackett Fischer
2009 David Herbert Donald
2010 Bernard Bailyn
2011 Pauline Maier
2012 Eric Foner
2013 Drew Gilpin Faust
2014 Nathaniel Philbrick
2015 Robert Dallek
2016 Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
2017 Gordon S. Wood
2018 Annette Gordon-Reed
2019 John Stauffer
2020 Jill Lepore
Movies on DVD
Every year, the Friends purchase hundreds of films. The Library is a perfect (and free!) place to discover new movies and find your old favorites.
Audiobooks offer the convenience of listening in your car or on the train, while exercising, or because reading is physically challenging.
Find classics and new hits in this collection of music.
A host of programs organized by the library for the children in our community are sponsored by the Friends, including the Sing-a-long day with Ed Morgan programs, CCHS study days. In addition the Friends provides books for the children of the guests at Open table in Concord and Maynard as well as to the Prison Outreach Program.
The Friends fund professional development opportunities to our beloved library staff each year.