Friends of the Library - ESPL

The Friends meet the second Saturday of each month at 1:00 p.m. in the Conference Room, except during July and August, when they meet on the second Friday of the month at 1:00 p.m. in the Conference Room.

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The Friends of the East Smithfield Library (FOL) was founded in 1997 by Emma Baron, Carol Ferranti, Catherine Lynn, and Virginia Morgan.  The mission of the organization is to financially support library services.  When initially formed there was no Children’s librarian employed at the East Smithfield library and the FOL assisted with the children’s programming.  The group actively ran and organized educational and cultural events for the children and their families.  The group conducted outreach programs and purchased books.  They organized and ran activities for the Summer reading program.

In 1997 the group held the first perennial plant swap.  This has become a yearly spring event where gardeners from all over come to exchange plants for free.

In 2001, when the first Children’s librarian was hired, the FOL assisted with the renovation plans for the Children’s room and the second floor.  The FOL purchased all the wooden furniture, safety glass table tops, and a decorative rug for the Children’s room along with some chairs and potted floor plants for the second floor.

In 2002 the group held the first Spring egg hunt outside for the children.  This has turned into a yearly event.  Children who participated in the past are now bringing their children to this event.  Over 100 children now participate annually.

In 1997 the FOL received the Coalition of Library Advocates (COLA) award for “exceptional work in the Program Category”.  In 2002 the group again was recognized by COLA with an award for “innovative programming” and recognition from Governor Lincoln Almond.  In 2006 the group was once again recognized by COLA and received the William Reeves award for “Excellence In The Promotion Of Educational And Social Programs”.  In 2019 and 2021 the FOL once again won the William Reeves award for “Educational Outreach”.

Since 1997 the FOL  has purchased computer equipment, book racks, books, DVD’s, trees & flowers for landscaping, and provided numerous educational and cultural programs for both children and adults.  The FOL continues to fund many yearly museum passes for the general public.

Through our ongoing outreach efforts we have provided books to the town schools, Little Free Library boxes, Town housing units and the Welfare department.  Large print books are routinely brought to the Smithfield Senior center, local nursing homes, and the homebound by our volunteers.

The FOL’s fundraising efforts have included book sales, silent auctions, yard sales, bake sales, jewelry sales, raffles, and holiday mug & candy sales to name a few.  The group has partnered up with various other local non-profits in the past to help generate sales and build a sense of community.

All of the work we do is done by volunteers from the community.  The group has no paid staff.  Some volunteers help out just for certain events and others year long.  You can volunteer any amount of time and no experience is required.

The Friends of the East Smithfield Public Library has been a recognized non-profit by the IRS since 2000.  Please consider us for a charitable monetary donation or join/renew your membership here. We may be contacted at