Friends of the Merrimack Public Library award a grand prize

Merrimack’s Virginia “Gigi” Amarello, a resident of the town since 1996, recently was awarded a lavishly packed gift basket upon winning a raffle for new members of the Friends of the Merrimack Public Library, a group of volunteers dedicated to supporting, promoting and enhancing library services.

Amarello’s name was drawn from dozens of entries from people who signed up to join the FMPL and as a perk, were entered into the drawing. Amarello smiled as she inspected the contents, donated prizes ranging from gift cards to Shaw’s supermarket to wine glasses, to bottled wine and glass goblets, along with a holiday candle.

Amarello said she and her family are frequent visitors to the Merrimack library at 470 Daniel Webster Highway. She oftentimes goes there with a son, 20, a daughter who is age 10, and another son, age 7.

“I always come here to support the library,” Amarello said. “I have three kids and they come here, too. Everybody has their own library card.”

Stacia Kriebel, president of the FMPL, said the all-volunteer organization provides a wide range of services related to library programs and projects. The group gives Merrimack residents with young children gift sets, Books for Babies. The FMPL donates to local charities on behalf of children who collectively meet goals in the Summer Reading program.

The Friends also assists with sorting and displaying hundreds of donated books, compact discs, audio books and other items showcased at the library’s spring and fall book sales. In addition, the FMPL subsidizes a number of educational and entertainment events, including author talks, visits from artists and musicians and many other attractions.

Kriebel said that library patrons who become members of the Friends seem to find the experience a satisfying one that entails little cost.

“Assistance to the library and the Merrimack community depends largely on annual membership dues,” Kriebel said. “Your contribution of $10 or more makes you a member of FMPL.”

Membership forms are available at the library’s circulation desk. The next FMPL meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 16, at the library.

For more information on the Friends of the Merrimack Public Library or any of the library’s programs, call 424-5021.