New “Friends of Monroe County Library System” Board Established

This grassroots, volunteer-driven organization to focus on enriching library services for the county-wide community.
Monroe County, MICHIGAN (April 11, 2019) — The Friends of Monroe County Library System (Friends of MCLS) has been rekindled after a period of dormancy. On Tuesday, March 26, a new board was established to drive the activities of this non-partisan, non-profit organization. Officers of the board are President Beth LaPensee (Dundee), Treasurer Christan Bulin (Monroe), and Secretary Scott Pontasch (Bedford). They are joined by ex officio member Nancy Bellaire, the Director of MCLS.
The board’s first philanthropic act was a $2500 donation to the library system’s new Bookmobile. The donation from Friends of MCLS helped the library system to reach their fundraising goal of $200,000. The bookmobile was unveiled to the public on April 10. “I am thrilled that Friends of MCLS was able to make this generous donation so quickly after forming,” Bellaire said. “We are really looking forward to seeing what this group can do for the library community!”
Friends of MCLS President Beth LaPensee presenting Library Director Nancy Bellaire with a $2500 gift
Friends of MCLS are now working to establish themselves within the community, with the library staff, and with Friends groups for individual branches. They are getting started by identifying high impact projects and to raise the necessary funds to make the ideas reality. “We are really excited about finding exciting and innovative ways to help the library serve our community,” LaPensee said. “I’m hoping to find more people who want to help us with this, too.”
Friends of MCLS is seeking support from the community. Possibilities include:
  • Become a member of Friends of MCLS by submitting the member application form.
  • Donate on behalf of your business or organization.
  • Volunteer to help plan and implement specific projects.
  • Help with strategic planning and direction setting by serving on the Friends of MCLS board.
  • To get involved as a donor, volunteer, or board member, contact Beth LaPensee at beth.lapensee[at]
How do libraries benefit from Friends groups? According to the American Library Association, public libraries benefit from the expansion of their resources to serve the public. Friends extend a library’s capacity through dollar gifts, volunteer and program support, and through advocacy.

About Friends of Monroe County Library System

The purpose of Friends of MCLS, a non-partisan and non-profit organization, is to support the mission of the Monroe County Library System by: stimulating the quality of library services, facilities and resources; developing and implementing literary, educational, cultural or scientific programs for the community; promoting public interest in and use of the Library; encouraging gifts, endowments and bequests to the Library; and lending legislative support where needed.
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Beth LaPensee at (734)709-9797 or beth.lapensee[at]