Friends of the Library

Friends of the Library are a group of supporters whose mission is:

  • To establish a closer relationship between the library and the public it serves.
  • To promote increased knowledge of the functions, resources,  services, and needs of the library.
  • To advocate and seek adequate public and private funds to assure quality library and information services.

In the spring, Friends has an annual meeting to celebrate accomplishments, review activities, elect officers and socialize. This is the start of our fiscal year. 

Recent Friends donations have included:

  • In 2022, the Friends provided $1,500 for books, $500 for hotspots, and $100 for adult programs
  • $500 pledge for a Your Community Foundation Grant (awarded)
  • Cumulative donations of $3,100 for Iola Public Library Endowment Fund
  • $350 towards new blinds for the meeting room
  • Computer table with outlets for a laptop station
  • Reupholstering of couch and chair in main reading room
  • Reupholstering of dining room chairs in Flewharty-Powell Annex
  • $500 for large print books in 2015 and 2016
  • Purchase of the slatwall displayer for the new Readers’ Advisory Center
  • $250 for books in 2017,  $500 in 2018, $750 in 2019, and $1000 in 2020
  • $1,500 for Reading Nook in children’s department
  • $150 for Caldecott Challenge and Pizza Palooza celebrations, annually
  • $850 for the 2018 Family Reading Festival
  • $1,000 for other 2018 projects, including “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten”
  • Purchased supplies for the Lifesized Candyland game
  • $2,000 towards installation of the study room
  • Display unit for children’s department

Friends activities are funded largely by book sales in April and October, by an Everything Chocolate sale on Valentine’s Day,  and by membership dues.


President: Mary Ann Regehr
Secretary: Sally Huskey
Treasurer: Sharon Moreland


Membership dues are for a year, starting from the Annual Meeting in the spring.
Categories are:

  • Basic, $5
  • Sustainer, $20
  • Benefactor, $50
  • Dewey Club, $100

Membership is open to all. All categories except “Basic” include a family membership. You can pay a membership at the library or online. Please select the “Friends of the Library” from the menu and provide your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. You can also pay by mail:

Friends of the Library
c/o Iola Public Library
218 E. Madison
Iola, KS 66749


Iola’s own candy story. Russell Sifers, speaker. Jan. 19, 7 pm. Meeting Room.

Iola’s own candy story. Russell Sifers, speaker. Jan. 19, 7 pm. Meeting Room.

Valomilk–the little chocolate candy cups with melty marshmallow centers–are an Iola original, created at the Sifers Candy Company in 1931. Valomilk became so popular the company stopped making boxed chocolates. Today Sifers makes Valomilk in Merriam, Kans. Come hear the story and share the memories.
The Sifers Candy Company, founded here in 1903, gets its due with a historical exhibit in the lobby through Feb. 3. Allen County Historical Society loaned photographs and candy making equipment for the exhibit. Sifers left Iola in 1978 after the company sold in a merger.
Valomilk was invented by chance, became popular throughout the Midwest and went to war with the troops. According to Russell Sifers, great-grandson of the company founder, Valomilk is the happy accident of a happy candy maker who imbibed too much vanilla. Sifers will speak at the library 7 p.m. Thurs., Jan.19. He will bring Valomilks.

Iola Public​ Library

218 E. Madison
Iola, Kansas 66749

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