Who We Are
The Friends of the O'Fallon Public Library provide annual support for a number of O'Fallon Public Library programs and initiatives. As a 501(c)(3), the Friends raise money and volunteer hours to elevate the impact the library has on the community. A portion of raised funds go directly to buying new materials for the library. Remaining revenue funds other special projects.
Board of Directors
President: Melissa Fanning
Vice-President: Greg Zelinske
Secretary: Caitlin Grotowski
Treasurer: Ann Morey
- Linda Amos
- Laura Brennan
- Ray Farmer
- Andrea Fohne
- Elena King
- Mary Alice Koriath
- Diane Zelinske
Library Board Liaison: Suzanne Rupright
Library Staff Liaison: Ryan Johnson
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library
In 2022, the Friends launched a local chapter of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. We currently have over 500 local children enrolled in the program. To learn more about this initiative, click on the next tab.
In Spring 2023, the Friends financed the installation of a StoryWalk at Thoman Park
A StoryWalk is a movement and literacy boosting project that places an illustrated children’s book, taken apart and displayed page by page, along a walking route in your community. As you stroll down the trail, you're directed to the next page in the story.
StoryWalks have been installed in 50 states and 13 countries including, Germany, Canada, England, Bermuda, Russia, Malaysia, Pakistan and South Korea!
The concept was first developed in Vermont as a collaboration between the State Health Department and a local library as a way to convince families to get outside and be active while engaging with literacy.
The installation at Thoman Park features 20 stations, the contents of which are updated seasonally. Staff members in the Youth Services Department select the books and design interactive prompts to engage and entertain readers.
Outdoor Activity Space
In the Summer of 2023, the Friends of the Library, in partnership with a private donor and State Construction, created an Outdoor Activity Space on the northwest corner of our lot.
The Outdoor Activity Space consists of a 30-foot by 30-foot concrete pad, covered by an all-seasons shade structure. A new sidewalk connects the space to the existing sidewalk to provide easy access.
With this space we will hold a ton of outdoor children’s events. Everything from story time and STEAM activities to messy projects we’d prefer to hold outside. The space, while primarily created with kids in mind, will be flexible enough for other purposes too. Perhaps an outdoor book club? Perhaps study space on a beautiful day?
Overall, the space allows us to hold more kids per event than we currently can inside. What’s more, we’ll still be able to utilize that indoor space for other purposes while the outdoor space is in use! It truly is a win-win for the library, and for you, our wonderful patrons.
The Friends rely on YOUR donations of books to help fulfill their mission and fund special projects.
You can drop books off anytime during normal business hours. Call the library's main line at 618-632-3783 for special assistance or circumstances.
The Friends sell books year round in the Book Nook area on the first floor of the library. They also have an online Amazon Store!
Every Spring they hold a HUGE book sale that brings in roughly 2,000 extra visitors to the library in just a five day period. Keep an eye on the library's Event Calendar for upcoming dates.
Become a Friend
Buy Used Books
Shop the Friends' Book Nook area on the first floor of the library during your next visit. You can also shop the Friends' online Amazon Store. Revenue from books sales helps fund numerous projects throughout the library and community.
You can give to the Friends in a variety of ways:
- Venmo them @friendsofpl
- Text "ofallon" to 44321
- Donate online through Give Lively
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
What is Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library?
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth to age five, no matter their family’s income.
After launching in 1995, the program grew quickly. First books were only distributed to children living in Sevier County, Tennessee where Dolly grew up. It became such a success that in 2000 a national replication effort was underway. By 2003, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library had mailed one million books. It would prove to be the first of many millions of books sent to children around the world.
All children residing within the 62269 zip code from birth to age five are eligible for the program. There is absolutely no cost to the family to enroll as this effort is funded by generous donors throughout our community.
Why This Program?
Research shows that reading aloud is the single most important thing you can do to help a child prepare for reading and learning. The number of words that a child knows on entering kindergarten is a key predictor of his or her future success.
How does it work?
All it takes is $25 to mail a child one book per month for an entire year. The Friends of the O'Fallon Public Library have committed to funding 100 kids in 2022, with hopes of increasing that number as donations and fundraising initiatives allow. Each year we aim to grow the number of children we can support through this initiative. Your generous gift can help us fulfill this mission.
For only $25 you or your organization can sponsor a child for an entire year. A gift of $100 dollars ensures that 4 children will receive a new book in their mailbox each month. Click the Donate button to give now.
As a tax-exempt (501c3) organization, your contribution may be deductible to the extent allowed by law. No goods or services were provided in exchange for this donation.
Questions about the program?
We'd love to hear from you. Please email [email protected] or call 618-206-4342.
Register a child
Register a child today by completing this quick online form.
The program is 100% free to families, with financial support coming from the Friends of the O'Fallon Public Library and other community donors.
Wish to help support this program? Donate online today (it's quick, easy, and secure)!
Donations can also be mailed to the Friends of the Library at 120 Civic Plaza, O'Fallon IL 62269. Please put Dolly in the memo line.