"All the response we got last year was very positive -- a well-run race, they liked the idea that we were doing something new in addition to our book sales that we do quarterly," said Karen Barnhart, president of the Friends of the Bartow County Library System, which is organizing the benefit. "But one of the things we were trying to do was do a fundraiser that would reach a wider audience and really focus on family and health while raising money to support the needs of the library system."
To be held at Woodland High School's cross country course, 800 Old Alabama Road in Cartersville, the fun run and 5K will start at 7:30 and 8 a.m., respectively. Check in for both offerings will be at 7 a.m. The cost to enter is $15 through Saturday and $20 on race day. T-shirts will be guaranteed to the first 175 participants.
In the 5K, awards will be presented to the top two overall female and male finishers, and the first three male and female runners in each age category. For the fun run, the first three runners to cross the finish line will receive awards.
Along with helping the branches purchase books and media materials, the Friends' financial donations support the library system's programs, enabling speakers and prizes for young attendees to be secured.
"We give [funds] to [the library system] as they need them traditionally through the year and most of the time they will request funds for like the winter reading program and then the adult summer program, the children's summer program," Barnhart said, adding Bookin' It for the Friends of the Library raised more than $3,000 in 2009. "Then ... at our annual meeting [we] give them what we consider a big check with the majority of the leftover funds, barring anything we know we're going to need in the next couple of months. Those checks have varied. They've been as little, I believe, as $3,000 and as high as $10,000. We actually gave them a $10,000 check last year."
Describing their work as a valuable asset to the library system, Anne Henson said the Friends' efforts are appreciated greatly by the library's staff.
"[The money] helps us to supplement the amounts that we receive from the state and our funding agencies," said Henson, assistant director for the Bartow County Library System. "It just gives us a bit more money for materials and without the money that they give to the programs ... we would not be able to have [them]. We would not have the funds. So it's really to supplement our materials and then to provide programming that we would not normally get to have."
For more information about Bookin' It for the Friends of the Library or to register, visit www.bartowlibraryonline.org or call Barnhart at 770-382-4779. Entry forms also are available in the library branches' kiosks.