Arts & Culture Event Notices

North End Library Looking for More “Friends”!

by Jeanne Brady of the Post-Gazette

Recently, I had a chance to sit and chat with Jean Casale, Vice President of the Friends of the North End Library (FONEL). She was eager to tell me about all the wonderful things our local BPL branch has to offer. It’s not just about the books! They are just one of the many opportunities the North End Library offers the community for education, entertainment, and neighborhood camaraderie. FONEL wants you to see the Library as more than just a library, but as a Community Center for adults, children, and families alike.

Jean has been with FONEL for about 5 years. The other officers are Norman “Chris” Sabbey (interim President), Judith Ives (Treasurer), and John Merry (Secretary). The group meets every second Wednesday in the Library from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. They are always looking for new members and volunteers to support their programming, which includes both annual events like the Spring Book Sale, and ongoing activities like tending the Library garden and regular movie nights. FONEL members work closely with Head Librarian Susan Voloshin and Children’s Librarian “Miss Jennifer” Hawes to offer something for everyone.

Recently, volunteers responded to Miss Jennifer’s Amazon wish list by donating new games and puzzles—including Alphabet Go Fish, Puppy Puzzle, Mermaid Island Board game, Operation Escape E.V.I.L. (science game), Family Pictionary, Brain Builders, Classic Jenga, Double Nine Dominoes and American Mah Jongg — in memory of the late Boston Developer George Macomber. He was an avid game and puzzle player, and many of the North End kids who frequent the Library have expressed interest in strategic games like these and chess. Macomber’s daughter Grace helped deliver these new toys, which will be available to be played in the Library this fall.

You can read more about all the special offerings and events that the North End Branch has to offer (including a limited Italian language section) at

When I asked about what the gardening entailed, Jean advised me to get in touch with member and volunteer Terese O’Connell, who is co-chair of the Gardening group with Phyllis Vitti, and is also chairing the Membership Drive event. Terese basically wrote the rest of this article!

On the gardening, she told me that the volunteer gardeners meet once a week all year on Thursday’s from 10:00 am – 11:00 am at the Library. They help to maintain the plants inside the library and the seasonal plantings outside. No experience is necessary, and it is light physical work consisting mostly of watering, deadheading, sweeping, and changing the annuals seasonally in the planting beds outside.

“There is a wonderful group of ladies that regularly volunteer for the gardening and occasionally have a coffee afterward. Join us anytime. Drop in and help pitch in for our neighborhood library. It is not necessary to be there every week, although — you will want to be.”

Other areas needing volunteer support are general publicity, the annual book sale (sorters, set-up/break-down, sales, and refreshments), the Holiday Open House (decorating, set-up/break-down, and refreshments), and the annual fundraiser. The fundraiser needs people to decorate, register attendees, and especially to solicit items for the raffle and help run it.


The Friends of the North End Library are hosting an Open House & Membership Information Night on Wednesday, October 26, 2016, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm.

This is a special evening to come ask questions and learn about all the different ways to help out at our local library. There are so many different opportunities and ways to be involved with our library branch, from an hour once a year to an hour a week supporting ongoing activities. Light refreshments will be served.

Become involved or just visit and enjoy our yearly Holiday Open House. Join in the weekly book sorting or bake a goodie for the Spring Book Sale. Learn about the weekly gardening hours where you can gain experience and ask questions in how to care for plants. There are opportunities to help with promotion, funding, and you can even take a grant-writing course to help write a grant proposal. Serve on the board or help organize special Wednesday Night events. Provide social media maintenance, or support for expanding programs. A Suggestion Box and sign-up sheet with specific dates and times will be available during the event. Joining the Friends requires only a small tax-deductible donation.

So Please Attend the Open House and Volunteer — Keep It Local!

The North End Library is located at 25 Parmenter St., Boston, MA.

If unable to attend please contact them at with any questions or visit

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