A group of local residents have come together to start up a new Friends of the Smyrna Public Library group to help promote the town's library.

The new group came out of discussions within Smyrna's Library Advisory Board. The focus of the new friends group is getting children interested in the library, according to advisory board chairperson Alice Hohman. The group hopes to do this through children's activities and involvement in town activities including parades.

There was previously a friends group associated with the library but it disbanded a couple of years ago due to lack of involvement, said Ruth Hoch, who was a member of the group. Hoch is also a member of the town's advisory board for the library.

"The meetings didn't work in the afternoon, evening or during the day because a lot of people work so it fell apart," Hoch said.

Hohman said individuals and families are welcome to join the new friends group.

Even though the group is geared towards children, Hoch and Hohman said the group hopes to assist the library in any way it can.

Some ideas the group would like to see come to fruition is a program to teach adults how to read or assisting senior citizens when it comes to using the library.

Hohman said if senior citizens want to get books from the library, but can't actually go, maybe the group could set up a system of getting the books to the senior citizens.

Hoch said some senior citizens may need help while at the library, including using the new card catalogue.

"A lot of my friends call the library and reserve books because they don't know how to use the new card catalogue," Hoch said.

The group had a meeting in January. During the meeting, it was suggested that group members pay dues. Hohman explained paying dues wouldn't be so the group could make money but to put into activities.

"It'll be so we can get little gifts. We're not looking to build an account with money to spend," Hohman said. "We just want to encourage more people to use the library."

Hoch and Hohman said the first meeting went well, though there wasn't as big of a turnout as Hohman hoped for.

A definitive meeting time and day of the week has yet to be set, but the friends group will meet monthly. Officers will be elected once the group gets more members. They're hoping to have someone at "I Love Smyrna School District Day" on Saturday, Feb. 23 to generate interest.

Once the new library is built, which is a project being done by the Friends of the Duck Creek Regional Library, formerly known as the Smyrna Public Library Guild, Hohman hopes the work of the new friends group will be continued.

Hohman also noted that the Friends of the Smyrna Public Library group is not in competition with the Friends of the Duck Creek Regional Library.

"We're just trying to promote the Smyrna Public Library. We're not in competition at all," Hohman said. "We're not trying to step on their toes. We just want to make people more aware of the Smyrna Public Library."

The group will have their next meeting Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Smyrna Public Library. For more information, call 653-4579.

Email Jennifer Dailey at jennifer.dailey@doverpost.com