National Honor - Library Group Earns Award for Event

Monday, March 6, 2017

By Helen Wolt
Staff Writer for Sun Sentinel
Article published in the Sun Sentinel
Sunday, March 5, 2017

Friends of the Stirling Road Branch Library earned a 2016 National Friends of Libraries Week Award for putting on one of the top events in the country. 

United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association, awarded the Hollywood group and honorable mention. It is one of four named in the U.S. The top two winners are in Glendale, Ariz. and Holdrege, Neb. 

Stirling Friends co-presidents Hannah Hostyk and Julie Mukamal credit community involvement for the award. 

"What Julie and I are gifted with is understanding the need for partnerships with other community groups and reaching out beyond our library," Hostyk said. "We want our library to reflect the community." 

Partnerships include the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Music Club of Hollywood and Hollywood Hills High School. And every locally elected official is an honorary member. 

During Friends of the Library Week last October, the lineup at Stirling featured activities for all ages such as raffles, storytelling and a sing-a-long. Adults could attend a scholarly lecture. Kids were treated to Scholastic Books. "We gave away over 100 brand new, beautiful books," Hostyk said. 

The muscle behind the Stirling Library's 400 member group is its volunteers. They assist with programs all year ranging from Halloween parties to MOOCS (massive open inline courses) on subjects such as constitutional law. 

When the group requested help making a PowerPoint "Gallery of Friends," member Gabrielle Aroshas enlisted her husband, Jack Aroshas. He volunteered to kick it up a notch by producing a music video. Members sent in selfies and pictures that reveal a close-up look into the branch. Aroshas, a self-described creative guy who owns a mosaic tile business, spent hours compiling the group's story.

"I gave recognition to all the people working behind the scenes that nobody knew about except the group," Jack Aroshas said. 

The video scoped an instant hit with the United for Libraries panel.