On this page you will find answers to Frequently Asked Questions in the following categories.
About the Friends
Who are the Friends?
The Friends is a not-for-profit organization, separate from the library itself, that raises funds and awareness of the library’s superb collections and services. In the 50-plus years since its inception, the organization has contributed over a million dollars to the library. You can learn more about the Friends here.
What are the benefits of joining the Friends?
As a member of the Friends, you’ll be making a vital contribution to the Key West community, because 100% of our member dues go to the library. Member dues help fund the expansion of library operations, services, book inventory, and program development that make our library an incredible resource to Key West.
You’ll also enjoy exclusive member benefits like early access to tickets for our Annual Gala, as well as timely notification of Friends events including book sales, and our renowned Speaker Series, through our newsletter and additional exclusive member emails and offers.
What are the current membership levels?
Here are our current membership levels. We welcome and value memberships at any level.
- Publisher $1000
- Scholar $500
- First Edition $250
- Best Seller $100
- Novel $50
- Short story $25
What is the membership term?
Memberships in the Friends run for one year from January 1, to January 1, when they must be renewed to stay active.
However, if you join or renew after September 1, your membership will run until January 1, of the year after the following year.
Example: If you join or renew on September 2, 2023, your membership term will continue until January 1, 2025.
Where can I join?
Where can I renew my membership?
Can I change my membership level when I renew?
What if I want to join or renew for a dollar amount that is between two membership level amounts?
The best thing to do in this circumstance is join or renew at the level closest to but just below the membership level at which you wish to contribute. Then give the remaining amount as a donation here.
Members have an ongoing relationship with the Friends. They receive special offers, like a discount and early access to tickets for our Annual Gala. They also receive regular updates via our monthly newsletter (November to April) and occasional other emails.
Donors do not get the same access. However, we know that donations make sense in many situations, for example, for corporations, estates, and others, and we are very happy to accept them. You can donate here. If you have question or special circumstances, feel free to contact us here.
Sponsorships are opportunities to contribute to underwriting a Friends event or series of events. Organizations or individuals can be sponsors. Learn more about sponsorships here. See a list of this year’s sponsors here.
Payment methods accepted
What forms of payment do the Friends accept?
The Friends accept checks and credit cards for member dues, donations, and sponsorships. The form for paying via check is here.
For larger amounts, we prefer checks to avoid credit card fees, but your convenience is paramount. We are happy to have your dues or donation in any form that works for you.
What if I want to pay via bank transfer or other method not listed above?
We can work with you to accept other forms of payment. If you wish to arrange this type of payment, contact us.
Are membership dues, donations, and sponsorships eligible to be tax deductible?
The Friends of the Monroe County Library in Key West, Florida, Inc. is a qualified 501(c)(3) charitable organization registered in the State of Florida and by the IRS (EIN 59-1897084). No goods or services are provided in exchange for any portion of membership dues or other donation. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll-free 1-800-435-7352 within Florida. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state.
What kinds of things do Friends volunteers do?
The Friends is an all-volunteer organization. Volunteers collect and sort books for our book sales, staff the Speaker Series and Annual Gala, and help with library programs as requested. Volunteers serve on committees and as board members. The work is enjoyable, rewarding and makes a measurable difference. You can learn more about volunteering and sign up here.
Can non-members volunteer?
We welcome anyone to volunteer.
Can I volunteer to work inside the library, helping the library staff?
The Key West Library does not accept volunteers for this type of activity.
Where, when, and what is the Friends Speaker Series?
The Speaker Series offers talks and conversation from a wide variety of authors. The events are held Monday nights in January, February, and early March in the Library Palm Garden at 6:00 p.m. Information and dates for this year’s events are here.
Do I need to register in advance for Speaker Series events?
You no longer need to register in advance, except for the talk before the Annual Gala. For the rest of the series, seating will be on a first-come, first-seated basis. The gates to the Palm Garden open at 5:30. We will make every effort to seat everyone. However, it is best to come early to be certain of getting a seat.
Can non-members attend Speaker Series events?
All members of the public are encouraged to attend. Plus, it’s a great way to learn about the Friends.
What happens if it rains?
In the event of rain, the event will be moved inside the library.
I have an idea for a Speaker Series or Annual Gala guest. Whom should I approach?
You can contact us here. Please include information about the suggested speaker in the message box. We will send your suggestion along to our Speaker Series committee.
When are the Book Sales?
Book Sales take place on the first Saturday of the month, December through March, from 10:00 a.m.to 1:00 p.m. You can find dates for this year’s book sales here.
Can I donate books to the Friends Book Sales?
Can I buy books from the Friends outside of the Book Sales days and times?
Yes, the Friends offer books for sale inside the library whenever the library is open.
What happens if it rains?
If the weather is truly inclement, the sale in the Palm Garden is canceled.
Newsletters and other mailings
How often does the newsletter come out?
The newsletter is published as an email once a month, November to April.
What other mailings can I expect to receive as a member?
You will receive infrequent mailings that may include information like special offers for members or notifications about the membership renewal period.
Do members have to subscribe to the newsletter?
Members are automatically subscribed to the newsletter.
I’m an active member not receiving my newsletter. What should I do?
After you’ve checked your spam folder and confirmed the email where you’re looking for the newsletter is the same as the email address you used for your membership, please contact us, and let us know about the issue.
I share my membership with my spouse, partner, or other family member. We would like to receive the newsletter at both of our email addresses. How can I add the other address?
How do I unsubscribe from the newsletter and all Friends mailings?