(pictured above: The Friends of the Malloy/Jordan East Winston Heritage Center pose in front of the library. They are (front, from left) Kim Bell, Linda Grier, Rev. Andrea Walker, Katherine F. Rucker, Constance Grier, Abiodun Harris, (rear, from right) Mark R. Moss, James Ford, Brenda Robinson, Geneva Carter and Monticello Mitchell.)
In addition to celebrating its 60th year of serving the community, the Malloy/Jordan East Winston Heritage Center recently rejuvenated its long-dormant Friends of the Library organization.
Officially called the Friends of the Malloy/Jordan East Winston Heritage Center, the nonprofit group has met five times since the beginning of the year to elect officers, amend bylaws, name committee chairs and establish goals. Including the four officers, about a dozen people have attended meetings. All members are library patrons who ardently believe in the educational benefits of Malloy/Jordan and the Forsyth County Public Library system.
“We are extremely excited about our group,” said Friends’ President James Ford, a longtime city resident. “All of the branches of the Forsyth County Public Library have a Friends of the Library group. East Winston’s library had one too, some time ago. Now, we are back in action with a group of competent, dedicated folks who want to do what they can to enhance our local library’s services.”
The other officers are Rev. Andrea Walker, vice president; Kim Bell, secretary; and Mark R. Moss, treasurer.
Ford explained that the main goal of the Malloy/Jordan Friends is to act as the library’s fundraising arm while also serving as ambassadors.
“There are several programs, activities and equipment needs that we hope the group can fund,” he said. “We won’t have to always turn to the county for help with this or that if there is a rainy-day fund for the branch to use as it sees fit.”
Ford said he would like to see more author readings and other literary events held at Malloy/Jordan. There are also precious documents that are in need of framing and computer hardware that needs to be upgraded or replaced. The library recently formed a group for young girls, J.E.W.E.L.S., which is a book club and mentoring program for teenagers who reside in East Winston.
Malloy/Jordan Outreach Services Manager Yolanda Bolden said she has been looking forward to the re-establishment of the Friends group.
“The members of this group are frequent users of our branch,” said Bolden, who will serve as liaison between the library and the Friends group. “They know our personnel. They know what we need, what we would like to accomplish and, just as importantly, the group will be our direct link to the community. I am very excited about the group’s potential.”
Although the library system has been segregated for most of its history, African Americans have had access to books at special locations since 1927. It wasn’t until 1954 that East Winston finally saw the creation of its own facility, built exclusively for the black community. The land on which the branch sits was donated by Dr. J.C. Jordan, Dr. H.D. Malloy and Dr. H.R. Malloy, prominent black physicians. Since the opening of the branch, originally known as the East Winston Library, such luminaries as the poet Langston Hughes and authors Arna Bontemps, Venise Berry, Andrea Bowen, Vanessa Davis Griggs have spoken at the library.
Those interested in becoming members or wanting more information, may contact Monticello Mitchell at email@example.com or 336-829-6692.