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The WSSU Friends of the Library (FOL) was a simple dream which was formed after library staff members expressed the need to have funds to purchase resources when they were needed and not based on the availability of the state budget.

The WSSU Friends of the Library (FOL) was formally organized in April 1985 with the assistance of WSSU alumni, O'Kelly Library staff, and community friends. Through the years, a host of programs and activities have been sponsored.

The Organization

Presently, a planning committee is the group responsible for moving the organization forward and closer to accomplishing the goal of developing a substantial endowment for C. G. O’Kelly Library. The membership consist of community activists, alumni, and library staff members who are recruited based upon their love for libraries. Sub committees create the program design, raise funds, and market upcoming events.

Many of the planned activities focus on the African American experience and creating a memorable event for our guests to enjoy. The committee meets approximately nine times annually to design Friends of the Library or the Slater Book Society events.

WSSU Friends of the Library Goals

  • Build a substantial library endowment.
  • Continue endorsing the expansion of library services by funding innovative staff initiatives.
  • Support the O’Kelly Library staff in their efforts to acquaint the greater Winston-Salem community with African-American culture in a unique format.
  • Involve more Winston-Salem State University alumni in the Friends of the Library.
  • Provide student service awards ($800 each)
  • Award one WSSU graduate student a work stipend ($7,000)

Significance of an Endowment

As the library changes into an evolving learning environment, dollars beyond the basic state budget became very important A quarter million dollar library endowment will help fund a learning environment that is service focused, and committed to giving patrons the information and assistance required for a quality learning experience. The size of the supplemental income will ensure that O’Kelly is an exceptional one stop learning center with a varied collection, supporting equipment and a multi-talented staff. A constantly evolving comprehensive library is necessary in a fast growing university