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The University Libraries, a Community Resource: Programs & the Friends of the UNCG Libraries

The University Libraries at UNCG engage the community in a variety of ways and on a variety of levels.  In a series of three posts over coming weeks, I am outlining some of them.  This post will focus on programs.

One of the University Libraries’ longest-running engagements with the community is with the Friends of the UNCG Libraries.  Since 1959, the Friends have supported the libraries and have held an annual dinner with a major speaker each year.  This is historically one of the best attended community events of the year at UNCG.   The 2013 dinner is scheduled for the evening of Monday, April 29, 2013 when the speaker will be John Shelton Reed.

For the past ten years, the Friends have also sponsored a book discussion group led by faculty members.  This is a unique opportunity for community members to enjoy the fine teaching at UNCG without charge, and to read and discuss books chosen by those faculty members and a committee of the Friends board.

The Friends and the University Libraries also sponsor a number of programs each year ranging from author visits to documentary film screenings to lectures to celebrations of prominent authors.  Friends’ activities and programs are listed on our Friends blog at   This fall’s schedule may be seen at

Many of these programs are done in collaboration with community organizations such as the Greensboro Historical Museum and the Greensboro Public Library, including our recent celebration of Charles Dickens bicentenary, a community examination of the Abraham Lincoln and emancipation coinciding with a major traveling exhibition we hosted, and various documentary film screenings and author visits. 

Five years ago, the University Libraries created a children’s book author and storyteller series to reach out to elementary school students in the community (500-1000 4th graders, mostly from Title I schools, come to UNCG each September) and the general public.  See and especially the write-up linked at the end of that blog post, which is a story about the history of the series.

The University Libraries are very grateful to the Friends for the years of support that members have made, not only by making possible and attending many of our programs, but also for their support that helps us enhance and support the collections and services that make the University Libraries at UNCG an essential resource for students, faculty, researchers and the greater Triad community.