Friends of the library - events

About the Friends

The Friends of the Chatham Area Public Library was founded in 1986, and is a volunteer 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to supplement the Library’s annual budget for materials and programs and supporting literacy initiatives in the Chatham community. The Friends welcome new members and offer service opportunities for youth and adult groups.

The Friends of the Chatham Area Public Library are that and a whole lot more!  Some of the other things the Friends do to make the library services better for our patrons include:

  • Hosting the annual Murder Mystery Dinner Theater Fundraiser
  • Sponsoring the Teen and Adult Summer Reading Programs
  • Providing volunteers to help with various library programs
  • Sponsoring the Library on the Go e-books and more databases
  • Providing computers and equipment for the library
Friends of the Library Board and Meetings

Friends board members

The Friends of the Library Board welcomes any member of the Friends to join them at their meetings.  They are typically on the 4th Tuesday of the month, at 6:30 p.m. The Board determines all fundraising activities for the year.  They also vote on what projects to fund for the Library.  

Become a Member of the Friends of the Library
Friends membership book graphic
Let's be Friends!

Making a monetary donation to FOL establishes you as a member of the FOL organization for the current calendar year. Your donation will enhance Library services and provide increased resources and materials.

  • Tax deductible contributions
  • Access to the members-only preview hour at all book sales.
  • Coupons for free books in our Friends’ Bookstore & Café

You can donate by filling out thePDF iconFriends Membership Form and drop it off at the Library's circulation desk, the Friends' Cafe & Bookstore or mail it to:

600 East Spurce Street

Chatham, IL 62629 

You can also donate via PayPal below. You do not need a paypal account to donate. Thank you for your support of the Friends of the Chatham Area Public Library!

Membership Levels


Give by shopping with Amazon Smile
Support the Library When You Shop on AmazonSmile

Amazon shoppers can help the Library by making purchases through AmazonSmile. A portion of your purchase price (0.5%) will go to the Friends of the Library, at no cost to you. AmazonSmile has the same products and prices as

How it works
  1. To get started, go to, and log in with your Amazon password.
  2. Enter Friends of the Chatham Area Public Library as your charity.
  3. Shop and support the Library.

Amazon smile



Anyone can volunteer with Friends, regardless of their membership status. Volunteers can participate in a variety of activities:

  • Working at the biannual booksales held in the Library Galleries
  • Staffing the Friends’ Café & Bookstore
  • Acting, serving or baking at our March Murder Mystery Fundraiser
  • Being a member on the Friends Board. Help guide the Friends with their fundraising efforts and determine how to assist the Library with their programming and equipment needs.
  • Helping at other Friends-sponsored library events

Thank you for your support!

We hope to hear from you! Please contact us with how you're interested in serving!

volunteer hands

Volunteering at the Friends' Cafe & Bookstore

Book Store and Cafe

One great way to support the Library and the Friends is to volunteer your time working in the Friends' Cafe & Bookstore! 

Home Delivery

Tote bag with puzzles and books in it

This free service is made possible for our patrons through the generosity of the Friend’s of the Chatham Area Public Library. If you would like to help with this program, please contact the Library.

The Chatham Area Public Library District is not responsible for any loss or injury incurred or suffered, directly or indirectly, to any person or persons volunteering in or receiving service from this program.

Volunteers will be asked to sign a Release and Hold Harmless form.


You can learn more about the program here

Next Book Sale: July 20th

Book bargains and tempting treats will be available for shoppers at the Friends of the Library Book Sale on Saturday, July 20th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Friends who have paid or renewed their annual membership dues as of January 2019 may attend the Friends’ POWER HOUR right before the sale from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. What a deal!  PDF iconBook Prices.pdf at the sale. 

Also, be sure to stick around for the 2:00 p.m. bag sale! At this time, you can load a paper grocery bag with books for a donation ($2.00 minimum) 

Bag sale graphic


Book & Bake Sales

booksale header

The Friends have two book & bake sales annually. Their Winter Book & Bake Sale is in Mid-January and the Sweet Corn Book Sale coincides with the Jaycees Sweet Corn Festival every July.  Friends members get early access before the general public.  The Friends Power Hour is from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM each sale.  The general public is welcome from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM.  The Bag Sale is at 2:00 PM, where anyone can buy a paper bag for a donation of any amount ($2.00 minimum) and fill it up with remaining books from the sale.

Would you like to volunteer to help? We need helpers to set up, help during the sale and then take down the sale. We also need bakers to bake sweet treats for our shoppers!  Let’s connect!  Volunteer form

19th Annual Murder Mystery-- March 8th & 9th 2019!


2019 Murder Mystery information



Murder Mystery Dinner Theater Fundraiser

murder mystery pictures

The Friends of the Library started their Murder Mystery Dinner Theater Fundraiser back in 2000. Each year, the play is written by the Friends’ volunteer playwright Ryan Byers. Ryan has been writing original plays for the Friends since 2010.  Actors are volunteers, who are staff members, Library Trustees, Friends members and Chatham residents.  The play is not interactive, but the audience does get to guess whodunit to win prizes.

New actors are always welcome, depending on parts available. Want to see the show and help out?  Servers are also needed. Like to bake?  You can help the Murder Mystery by donating pies and cakes. For more information on how to volunteer for multiple opportunities at the Murder Mystery, please fill out the volunteer form.