The Friends of Lakewood Public Library is a volunteer organization that has supported the Library with materials, programming and service since 1980. Originally brought together by a determination to keep good books from going into the trash, the group has grown with the Library to become an essential part of Lakewood’s way of life.

Donations of old books, magazines, movies and electronics are welcome every day of the year. While some of these materials make their way into the Library’s collection, most items end up being sold at the Friends’ seasonal book sales. The proceeds are used to sponsor free lectures, concerts and films at the Library and to pay for crucial materials like the Library’s Program Guide and the Library’s van which is used to deliver books to classrooms and those who are unable to leave their homes.

In the last few years, the Friends have begun selling rare books online to increase revenue. Reading material has been donated to armed forces personnel serving in warzones. And libraries devastated by floods and other natural disasters have put themselves back together with help from the Friends.

Support the Friends by donating materials, volunteering, shopping at the next sale or attending a concert.


Sunday with the Friends

Nearly every Sunday at 2:00 pm, the Friends of Lakewood Public Library are proud to present
free concerts, lectures and more. Join us in the Main Library Auditorium. These programs are
open to one and all.

April 13          Brian Henke
Brian Henke composes and performs his music like a painter putting images on canvas, a kind of sonic shaman, drawing his inspiration from the world around him. An avid hiker, he often brings his guitar along to create a spontaneous response to his outdoor settings. Mother Earth has provided him with an immense living gallery from the humbling spectacle of her natural wonders to the simple beauty of a treetop against a blue sky. Her majestic legacy and the magical feeling of awe and peace inspire the compositions of this award winning guitarist. Though he is widely known for his intricate, fingerstyle playing, we find ourselves entranced by the words he doesn’t say. The stories hidden in his music say so much and leave us feeling fresh and relaxed. <catalog>

April 27          Wallace Coleman
Wallace Coleman keeps it real, playing old school blues. An unbroken chain of songs and stories, passed down through musical generations, connects him directly to the crossroads birth of the blues. Like a million other Americans in the 1950’s, Coleman left his home and headed north looking for work, but he didn’t leave the state of Tennessee without a deep and abiding love for roots music. A rare talent for the blues harp brought him to the attention of Robert Lockwood Jr.—Lockwood was never a big fan of harmonica players, but he was impressed enough to bring Coleman along on the tour for the next ten years. Today, Wallace Coleman is a living blues legend in his own right and we are lucky to have him play for us here in Lakewood. <catalog>

May 4             Samba Joia
After five hundred years of carnival, Brazil has produced a number of musical genres marked by intense layers of complicated and liberating rhythm. This Cleveland-based bateria, or drum group, is on a mission to build community through the sharing of vibrant Brazilian music and culture, wherever they are called. Many players have come and gone and come back for more over the years. One thing they all share in common is the Brazilian ability to check their egos at the door, let loose and have fun.

May 18           Balalaika Virtuoso
Many of Oleg Kruglyakov’s early experiences growing up in Omsk, Siberia centered around singing together with family members where he developed a keen ear for musical styles and a deep respect for cultural tradition. The virtuoso balalaika player is fascinated by the history of the Russian people and well-versed in the etymology of his native language. The triangular, three-stringed, quintessentially Russian instrument he plays is a staple of the folk songs he was raised on, but it is capable of tackling the most delicate pieces of classical music, too. In between songs, this world traveler will share his opinions on history, culture and beautiful music with easygoing humor and passion.

June 8             The Luckey Ones
Everybody has a different version of the same old song. The Luckey Ones are a five man Americana string band from Cleveland Ohio, playing traditional bluegrass and boxcar country blues tunes influenced by honky tonk heroes, Delta bluesmen, hardcore troubadours and psychedelic savants. Although their lonely, late night, lost in the wind music sounds quite old, guitarist Brandon Scheel boasts that all of their songs are original compositions written by himself, violinist Justin Boothroyd, banjo player Chris Valentine, bassist Carl Brunello and mandolin player Chris Daw.

June 22           Smokin’ Fez Monkeys
The Smokin' Fez Monkeys have traveled back in time to retrieve the rickety tickety sound of the great old jug bands and some of the hand clappin' foot stompin' fun that went along with it. Of course, they've added some of their own songs to the old formula, along with some instruments of their own devising. Specializing in the most surprising songs of the past century, this cartoon, circus-hobo, gypsy-jazz group likes to do their own thing once in a while, too. Join Gnarly, Petunia, Bullfrog and Clem as they celebrate the first full day of summer with some good old fashioned music and hijinks. You'll be part of the show, and we know you'll have a real good time.

June 29           Diana Chittester
Her earliest musical influences ranged from Peter, Paul and Mary to the enigmatic energy of Michael Jackson, but it was that first Ani DiFranco CD, bought with her last $11, that set Diana Chittester off on her own musical adventure. Today she commands the stage without the use of gimmicks or gadgets, giving a natural performance that sounds like many guitars playing at once. Her blend of swift finger-picking and intricate strumming, combined with an array of alternate tunings, allows her to speak directly to the audience. Music Connections Magazine calls her, “An intelligent and articulate artist.” Join the honey-voiced singer, songwriter and activist for an afternoon of music worth giving your heart to... <catalog>

July 13            The Swinging Bavarians
It’s time to button up your lederhosen for Oktoberfest in July. This is not your typical oompah band. In addition to the traditional marches, polkas and waltzes, these brothers in brass mix in big band, pop and even a little rock ‘n’ roll. What matters is that everybody has a good time! Dr. Thomas Herbell, with more than seventy years of experience playing the clarinet at his disposal, will lead the fourteen member band through traditional favorites like The Happy Wanderer, The Anvil Polka, Magic Trumpet, Blue Skirt Waltz and Lili Marleen. An offshoot of the Al Koran Orchestra, the Bavarians contribute all proceeds to support the Shriners Orthopedic Hospitals and Burn Institutes for Children.

July 20            The Whiskey Island Ramblers
Whiskey Island lies at the gateway to Cleveland, where the Cuyahoga River flows into Lake Erie. Irish immigrants settled on Whiskey Island which, in its heyday, boasted thirteen different saloons—a considerable achievement considering it was only a mile long and a third of a mile wide. Brothers Joe and Ed Feighan, who can trace their roots back through the island, grew up playing traditional Irish music. Inspired by bands like Flogging Molly and the Clancy Brothers, they joined up with drummer Tim Lane and keyboardist Justin Gorski to forge their own Celtic rock band infused with real Cleveland flavor. Together, the Ramblers celebrate growing up Irish in an industrial landscape.

July 27            A Colonial Woman in Song
Enjoy a conversation with history. Diane Virostko steps forward out of the mist shrouded past to sing songs from the late colonial period of America. Each song will be carried entirely by her lovely vocals, without instrumentation, as would have been common on the edges of the frontier. Dressed, head-to-toe in authentic hand-crafted garments from the period, she will discuss women's fashions of the day, the history of the songs she sings and the whispers of revolution wending her way.

August 10       Luther Trammell Acoustic Blues
Music and friends are our life. Whether rockin’ out with the Blues Imperials, Shirley King or on his own, Luther Trammell brings the blues home. After spending some time in the House of Blues’ house band, Luther went solo. Although he does still play with powerhouse groups from time to time, lately he’s decided to devote himself full time to his own personal message of love, delivered through thundering acoustic guitar and vocals of feeling and experience. For this special summer performance, Luther's good friend John Sutton will join him onstage for dueling guitar renditions of classic blues songs and spirited takes on his originals.

August 17       Red Light Roxy
If you’re looking for an experience and the music has got to swing, it’s got to be Red Light Roxy. This professional jazz band from right here in Cleveland, Ohio plays an upbeat mix of jazz standards, jump blues, swing, boogie-woogie and a dash of old school rhythm and blues. They grabbed their name from the notorious burlesque house on Short Vincent Avenue where, back in the day, lawyers, politicians and everyday citizens mingled with gangsters, gamblers, showgirls and celebrities for hot jazz. Eileen Burns, formerly of the world renowned Glenn Miller Orchestra, and Demetrius Steinmetz of the distinguished Tri-C Jazz program bring some of the city’s best players together for a whirlwind tour of songs made famous by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Ruth Brown, Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee.

Visit the Events Page for more great

Library programs sponsored by the Friends!



Friends Book Sales

Friends Summer Bag of Books Sale
Saturday, June 14
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Friends Lakewood Arts Festival Sale
Saturday, August 2
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Join the Friends and receive entrance to a special, members-only preview sale on Thursday June 12 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Memberships may be purchased at the door or with the form below.

Printable Donation Form

Donate Via PayPal

Support the Friends and help them help the Library.  All major Credit Cards accepted.



The Internal Revenue Service recognizes the Friends of Lakewood Public Library as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
Donations to the Friends of Lakewood Public Library are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by the law.

Dues are tax-deductible and renewable annually in January.

Join! Click here for a friendly membership form!