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Friends of the Library

The Friends of the Derby Public Library is a group of citizens who have a common passion for the Derby Public Library’s active expansion and participation in community life. The Friends of the Library assist in promoting library services and programs. We are a nonprofit organization and all membership dues and donations are tax deductible.

The Friends’ Advantage

Friends of the Derby Library get to participate in the members-only preview sale at the Friends’ annual book sale. This means that you get first choice of the books at the sale.

Friends also receive a monthly newsletter that includes information about upcoming events at the library, art exhibits, and what the library book clubs are reading.

Friends of the Derby Public Library supports Kansas Reads to Preschoolers Week, National Readathon Day, Santa’s Village, library participation in the Big Read, and the StoryWalk at High Park.

Membership Rates

Annual individual membership — $10
Annual family membership — $15

Lifetime individual membership — $100
Lifetime family membership — $150

Friends Annual Meeting

This event has been postponed. Please watch this space for the new date.

Friends of the Derby Public Library will host “Children of the Promised Land,” a presentation and discussion by Angela Bates at 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 10 in the library Community Room. All members of the community are invited to attend the free program, which is made possible by Humanities Kansas.

Nicodemus, a small, unincorporated town in Graham County, is the only remaining western town established by African Americans during the Reconstruction Period following the Civil War. Today the town is a National Historic Site. This pictorial history explores the unique experience of mothers and their children in Nicodemus, some of whom were the first members of their families born free.

Angela BatAngela Bates, executive director of the Nicodemus Historical Societyes is the executive director of the Nicodemus Historical Society. She presents educational programs across the nation covering Nicodemus, Exodusters and black towns in the West, Buffalo Soldiers, and black women in the West.

“My great uncle, Henry Williams, was the first baby born in Nicodemus just a month after my great-grandmother Emma arrived with the first group of settlers in 1877,” said Bates. “He was one of the first in his generation born on the free soils of Kansas. He represents the many children of his generation that were reared by parents who were former slaves.”

“Children of the Promised Land” is part of Humanities Kansas's Crossroads Conversations Catalog, featuring presentations, discussions, and workshops designed to spark conversations in the Sunflower State.

This program is part of the Crossroads: Change in Rural America initiative anchored by the Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition of the same name. Crossroads promotes fresh thinking about the history, culture, and future of Kansas.

New date to be determined
A brief business meeting will precede the presentation.


Board of Directors

The board of directors of the Friends of the Derby Public Library meets the first Monday of every month at 1 p.m. Members of the board of directors serve two-year terms and are elected at the Friends annual meeting, which is generally held in October.

Board members

President: Mary Lu Wagner

Vice President: Carol Wittman

Secretary: Sue Bitel

Treasurer: Carol Boyce

Communication: Pat Kitterman and Carol Wittman

Member-at-large: Gary Read and Linda Roberts

Library Director: Eric Gustafson (serves on the board as an ex-officio member)

For more information or if you have questions about membership, please send an email to