Frannie Ashburn Volunteer of the Year

The Volunteer of the Year award was instituted in 2007 to honor the work of individual Friends. Five outstanding volunteers - one from each of the Areas across the state - are chosen annually for recognition.

Frannie Ashburn was a leading force in encouraging Friends volunteers across North Carolina. Following her retirement as State Library Liaison to FONCPL in 2011, the Board voted to name the Volunteer of the Year Award in her honor.

2019 Frannie Ashburn Volunteer of the Year Award Winners

Southeast Area
Barbara Nicholson-Friends of the Carteret County Public Library

Barbara Nicholson of the Friends of the Carteret County Public Library received the Frannie Ashburn Volunteer of the Year award for the South East Area for demonstrating passion, commitment and dependability. Ms. Nicholson turned 90 years old this year and retired from her service to the Friends and moved to senior living facility in Omaha, Nebraska.

Here are a few comments from her nomination:
Barbara has been a Friends-of-the-Library volunteer for a remarkably long time-- for almost 60 years! She was one of a small group who gathered in 1961 to establish an organization of volunteer supporters of the library. This was the first Friends group in Carteret County and one of the earliest in the state of North Carolina.

She has volunteered for everything imaginable; from painting and repair work to being Friends President in the1960s, and continuing her active presence through this summer of 2019. In 2011, at the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Friends, Barbara was one of only three volunteers still living and the only one still active in the group.

Barbara's fellow volunteers know that she is rock solid dependable. She's our resident book expert, with expertise arising from many years as the local high school librarian.

Her remarkable longevity with the Friends and her lifetime commitment to libraries make us eager to honor Barbara Nicholson as our nominee for the Frannie Ashburn Volunteer Award. Barbara won $300 for her Friends.

Central Area
Kathy Oakley-Friends of the Alamance County Public Libraries

If you want a job done, you don't even have to ask Kathy Oakley. She will volunteer! Kathy co-chaired our Fall 2018 and Fall 2019 Book Sales which raised approximately $27,000 each.

Kathy has served on our Board of Directors for about 5 years and has just finished a term as Vice-President. On her own initiative, she compiled a 35-year history of our Book Sale chairs and monies earned. She leads the way when our group prepares goodie bags for the Staff Appreciation Week by baking and delivering the bags. She "staffs" the Drive By/Drop Off Day at the Mebane Library where patrons can donate books to the FOL.

Kathy is always there when the shelves need cleaning, dealers need to be met, or boxes need to be packed. When a shelf breaks in our Book Sale area, you will find Kathy on a chair with her hammer or drill (!) fixing the problem. She is soft spoken, but insightful and kind when decisions need to be made.

Literacy and library services are important to her as she recognizes the need for these to enrich our community. Kathy is vital to our Friends of the Library group. Truly a wonderful and well deserving nominee for this award.

Press release for all the 2019 FONCPL Awards (PDF)

2020 Nominations for the Frannie Ashburn Volunteer of the Year Award

We will not be accepting nominations until September 2020. Check back at that time for the nomination form.

Your Friends group MUST be a member in good standing of the FONCPL in order to make a nomination for this award.