To enhance, focus public attention on, and generate community support for Library services, facilities, and other needs  
HOME             ABOUT US              EVENTS              NEWS             BOOKSTORE             VOLUNTEER            JOIN             DONATE              OUR FRIENDS


The mission of the Friends of the Merced County Library (FOMCL) is to enhance, focus public attention on, and generate community support for Merced County Library services, facilities, and other needs. The FOMCL incorporated as a charity organization in May 1967 and became a 501(c)3 non-profit in 1974. For over 50 years, the Friends have championed the Merced County Library through advocacy and outreach, volunteering, and financial support.

The FOMCL is a countywide organization. Every year about half of the Friends’ budget helps purchase Summer Reading performers, programs, and prizes at all library branches. We also provide considerable annual funding for library services for children and youth where most needed, and we supplement the book budgets of the smallest library branches.

Throughout its history, the FOMCL has provided much-needed funding on an annual basis to meet needs such as furniture, landscaping, special programs, events, and new books and materials. Recently, FOMCL
leaders decided that we could also serve the library system by raising and reserving funds for long-term projects.

The FOMCL’s first long-term goal was a bigger and better bookmobile to take the library to underserved parts of the county and to seniors, preschoolers, and less mobile users. The Friends adopted this goal in September 2017, fundraised and saved for five years, and provided $25,000 in matching funds for a state grant. Thanks to the successful grant award, supplemented by contributions from the Merced
County Library, the Board of Supervisors, First Five Merced County, and an additional $5000 in FOMCL donations to furnish and equip the basic vehicle, the new bookmobile will hit the road in 2022.

The Friends’ second long-term goal, adopted in summer 2021 to honor former FOMCL member and library activist Mary Hofmann, is to help build a new teen center in Merced Library. Learn more about this new long-term goal here.

The FOMCL is also a hard-working advocate for the Merced County Library. In the early 1990’s, when the library system was closed due to a financial crisis, the FOMCL was instrumental in getting a few branches re-opened in short order and in resuscitating the entire county system over the next few years. Currently we are petitioning county leaders to support the FOMCL long-term goals and to open evening hours at
local library branches. The FOMCL proudly reminds the community that the Merced County Library is one of the county’s most valuable public services.

The Friends’ bylaws, policies, and operating agreement with the Merced County Library appear below. The FOMCL raises funds through donations, memberships, fundraisers and sales, and proceeds from the Friends’ Bookstore in Merced Library. In recent years, corporate sponsorships and grant awards have also been important sources of funding. Contact us to learn more.

Current Board of Directors:

President Donald Barclay
Vice President Dee Near
Secretary Leigh-Ann Thornhill
Treasurer Connie Wright
Director Bernedette Castaneda
Director Susan Flinspach
Director Denise Seely
Director Sharon Terry
Director Susan Walsh
Director Linda Weems




Friends of the Merced County Library
PO Box 2463
Merced, CA 95344-0463


© 2022 Friends of the Merced County Library. All Rights Reserved.



Powered by  Imedia West