Friends of Clark Memorial Library

On June 30, 2017, due to budget constraints, the Town of Clarkdale closed the town’s historic Clark Memorial Library (CML).

Outspoken advocates for retaining the library were disappointed but not deterred. On June 1, 2017, ten tenacious advocates met outside Violette’s Bakery Café to discuss a way forward. They selected a board of directors to form a non-profit library friends group which was incorporated as “Friends of Clark Memorial Library” with the Arizona Corporation Commission. Shortly thereafter they filed for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the IRS. Incorporation was effective June 16, 2017 and planning began for a book drive and donation booths at town events.

Meanwhile, Corey Christians, Director of the Yavapai County Free Library District (YCFLD) met with Clarkdale Town Manager Gayle Mabery with a proposal to have YCFLD take over the operation of CML. YCFLD would reopen CML as a branch library if the Town of Clarkdale would make the building available. Friends of CML would be expected to raise approximately $12,000 annually for library materials and programs. The proposal was announced June 22, 2017 in the Verde Independent newspaper.

Library lovers though out the Verde Valley responded with generous donations of books and cash. With Supervisor Randy Garrison’s support, an Inter-Governmental Agreement was approved by the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors and the Clarkdale Town Council in time for YCFLD to facilitate a Grand Reopening Celebration and Book Sale on October 19, 2017, CML’s 90th Anniversary. In addition to book sale proceeds and private donations, a $3,500 donation, arranged by Dave Andrews, was made by the Clarkdale-Jerome Lions Club which put Friends of CML well on the way to reaching its first fundraising goal.

How important are Friends groups?

They can literally make the difference between a budget cut and a budget increase for their libraries. For more than a century, Friends groups have been formed by citizens using their collective powers to ensure that American libraries remain viable. You can make a lasting difference for Clark Memorial Library by supporting Friends of CML!

To fulfill its mission Friends of CML needs Friends who can share their time, talent and treasure. Please consider becoming a Friend by making a tax deductible donation.  Friends of CML also needs capable people able to take necessary roles in the organization. YOU can help maintain CML as a community resource by getting involved.

To offer your time and/or suggestions, please email us at
To make a financial contribution, please click the DONATE button below to access a secure PayPal page. Or, if you prefer, send a check or money order to:  Friends of Clark Memorial Library, PO Box 301, Clarkdale, AZ 86324.

Tenacious advocates at Violette’s, from left: Jimmy Salmon, Sybil Malinowski Melody, John Sherman, Bill Scales, Mary Liggit, Dr. Phil Dirksen, Zana Dirksen, Therese Hearn, and David Perrell.

Friends of CML…

  • funds purchase of books, videos, newspaper & magazine subscriptions, and other material to educate, enlighten, and entertain.
  • funds programs and activities of interest to the local community.
  • promotes usage of library facilities, resources, and services.
  • promotes local artists through Art at The Clark exhibitions.

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Friends of Clark Memorial Library is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) Arizona non-profit corporation dedicated to the financial support of Clark Memorial Library. Friends of CML is committed to raising funds for to pay for all of CML’s library materials (all new books, newspapers and periodicals, DVDs, Blu-Ray videos, audio books and similar items) and to support CML’s programs and activities.
To make a donation, click the button below to use your credit/debit card, or mail a check to: Friends of Clark Memorial Library, P.O. Box 301, Clarkdale, AZ 86324

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