Meet Our Best Friends: Leslie Branch

IMG_6241.JPGWe’re continuing our celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week with a feature on the Friends of the Leslie Library. We spoke with Friends of the Leslie Library President Marie Charnley to learn more about the group and their impact on CADL Leslie.

Charnley has been a Friends member for 10 years and decided to join the group after retiring as a Leslie High School Librarian. She says the Friends’ purpose is to seek money, gifts and other properties to be used for the benefit of the library and to promote community engagement with the library.

The Friends’ dedication to their purpose has greatly impacted the library and community. Last year, they funded a $20,000 project to install an outdoor patio at CADL Leslie and hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Leslie Area Chamber of Commerce to commemorate the project’s completion (pictured in the upper left).

The Friends also provided the patio’s tables and chairs and installed electricity, allowing CADL Leslie to expand its programs and services to the great outdoors.

“It took a lot of planning, but it worked out just as we hoped,” said Charnley. “The patio is a major addition to the town."

Since the patio’s completion, the Friends have focused on bringing more presenters to the library. They recently brought in Ingham County One-Room Schoolhouse expert Audrey Martini, who discussed the history behind one-room schoolhouses in the Leslie Area to 40 attendees. The Friends are also sponsoring an author visit with true crime author Rod Sadler on Monday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m.

Additionally, the Friends are always fundraising with their ongoing book sale shelf located in the library. Members can purchase children's books, specialty items, hardcover and softcover bFriends of the Libraries.jpgooks for as little as 25 cents.

“The Friends are instrumental in ensuring the library can serve the entire Leslie area community. They support the library with simple gestures of kindness, such as providing snacks for library program attendees, along with big place-making projects for the community, like the patio,” said CADL Leslie Head Librarian Jeff Antaya. “The time and effort they put into the library and community is truly amazing!”

Ready to become a member? Visit to learn more about our Friend groups and how you can get involved. Keep up with the Friends of the Leslie Library by following their Facebook page.