Friends of the Cary Area Library

Mark your calendars: Teens, Tweens, & Tots Used Book Sale
Saturday, January 27, 9 am-1 pm
Used books (and only books) for teens and under will be for sale. Books will be only 25¢ each.

2024 Scholarship
The Friends of the Cary Area Library will again be awarding two $500 scholarships to graduating seniors who live within the CAPL District. Full requirements can be found on the application which will be available online and in the Library beginning March 4. The application deadline is April 22, 2024.

Gently used book and audio-visual donations are accepted at the Library. Your donation is tax-deductible and we have forms available upon request at the time of your donation. Please note, we do not accept encyclopedias and reference sets, magazines, yearbooks, textbooks over 5 years old, VHS and cassette tapes.

Contact FOCAL

Little Free Libraries
FOCAL has installed three Little Free Libraries around Cary, with help from a local Boy Scout. They are located at the Cary Park District Community Center, the Kraus Senior Center, and Kaper Park (see map below). View our slideshow to learn more about our Little Free Libraries. Learn more about Little Free Libraries.


Who we are…
The Friends of the Cary Area Library (FOCAL) is a group of community volunteers committed to supporting the library through fundraising efforts, contributing to library programs and promoting public awareness of the library and its services.

FOCAL has contributed $170,887 to the Library since the volunteer group began in the mid-1990s. They have funded special projects, equipment, and programs that are outside of the Library’s budget such as the new Teen Area furniture, a large format printer, Summer Reading finishing prizes, and much more. Consider joining this community-focused group!

The money we raise has helped CAPL purchase…

    • Prizes and books for youth, teen and adult reading programs
    • Lego robotics sets for youth programs
    • Upholstered chairs in the Teen Area
    • Early literacy play area educational toys and games
    • Initial Seed Library collection

FOCAL’s efforts go beyond the walls of the Library. Past and present, FOCAL continues to support and outsource used books to members of the community, schools, area senior living and charitable agencies.

    • Each spring, we offer two $500 scholarships to graduating students with a Cary Area Public Library card (CAPL). This includes Cary-Grove High School, Prairie Ridge High School, homeschool, and students wanting to attend trade school.
    • We maintain three Little Free Libraries in Cary. They are located at the Park District Community Center, the Kraus Senior Center, and Kaper Park.
    • FOCAL provides and organizes a display of free used books at the Cary Metra station for riders to read during their commute.
    • FOCAL provides free used books to the Cary-Grove Food Pantry.

Become a Friend!
The Friends of the Cary Area Public Library (FOCAL) are always looking for new members (18 years and older). A Friends group can have a strong positive impact on the Library. Friends provide a source of volunteers, a source of additional funding, and serve as advocates for the Library. Apply online or fill out the brief application form at the Library. Membership is free.

When are the meetings held?
Meetings are held in the Library, typically once a month (excluding some summer months). Reminder emails are sent to members prior to each meeting.

What is the time commitment?
A member can volunteer for as many hours as he/she would like. We encourage attendance at all meetings to keep everyone up to date on activities.

What do members do?
There are many opportunities for a member to get involved. Some of them include the following:

Book sorting: As books are donated for sales, they need to be organized and packed up for sale storage. This is done during Library hours throughout the year.

Fundraising: Members can help out at FOCAL fundraising events.

Book sale:

  • Publicity: post flyers of upcoming book sales in Cary area businesses.
  • Pre-sale: sale set up begins the week of the sale. Members help organize the tables and books in the main sales room and children’s sales room.
  • Sale days: members assist customers, keep inventory organized.
  • Post sale: assist with packing up unsold books; offer books to local charitable organizations; sale room take down.