The purpose of The Friends (FOL) is to foster closer relations between the Ashland Branch of the Pamunkey Regional Library and the citizens of the Town of Ashland, the county of Hanover, and its environs; to promote knowledge of the functions, resources, services, and needs of the Library; and to support improvement of the Library services and resources. The FOL Board consists of 10 to 15 dedicated volunteers.

In the mid-1980’s, FOL was founded by a small group of library supporters. After a few years, interest and energy sagged, but in 1997 enthusiasm returned with the construction of the new library on the east side of the tracks. A group of ten library supporters met and spearheaded a revitalization that soon transformed FOL into a dynamic 501(c)(3) community organization.

FOL now draws participants from Ashland and surrounding localities. Members receive notices of library events and many help at FOL book sales and other FOL-sponsored events. We raise money through membership dues and the year-round sale of used books donated by the public. The money is used to support library programs and events for kids, teenagers and adults and to buy furniture, equipment and supplies for the library. The normal budget of the Pamunkey system cannot support everything that makes our library wonderful, so the Friends make up the difference.

We hold two special annual events – a big July 4th book sale and a booth at Train Day where we give away free cookies and cider. We also arrange and/or pay for some Train Day activities at the library.

The Friends value our library for its educational and cultural role in our community and as a meeting and gathering place for all residents and visitors to Ashland.

Submitted by Nancy Kackley