Patron Profiles

Friends of the Library brings you stories from our members living in the Southport & Oak Island communities in a series called Library Patron Profiles.’ Enjoy!

Life in the FOLSOI Community

Friends of the Library Southport Oak Island (FOLSOI) has more than 60 volunteers who perform essential tasks such as planning author speaking programs, and operating the FOLSOI book store in the back of Southport Realty. Life in the FOLSOI community will share the stories of the people who make FOLSOI great.

“Our book store really does bring our larger community together through the joy of reading.”


Diana Fotinatos

FOLSOI Board President

Lunch with the FOLSOI shopping friends: A photo of (l-r): Mary Leonard, Janice Kessler, Frances Fennell, Linda Jones and Erinn Hughes, taken after a FOLSOI book sale shopping spree and meal at Provision Co. in Southport. Photos by Katharine Hufham

The FOLSOI Shopping Friends

Francis Fennel, Pat Pittenger, Janice Kessler, Erinn Pittenger-Hughes, Mary Evans-Leonard and Linda Jones live in Southport, Boiling Spring Lakes, Leland and the mountains.  But for these six friends, the monthly FOLSOI book sale is a chance to find their favorite books and to be sure to connect with dear friends. Here’s what Erinn has to say about the group and their special day.

Can you tell me when and how these outings started? 

When Southport Realty first began hosting the book sales [on behalf of FOLSOI], we all coincidently bumped into each other one day and went to lunch on the spur of the moment. We ended up spending the entire afternoon together and had so much fun, we decided to make it a monthly “girls’ day.”

What do you do on your ‘girls’ day?’  

We begin at the book sale, have lunch somewhere in Southport and spend the afternoon shopping or going to the movies. 

How often do you do this?

Once monthly. Our husbands know not to schedule anything for us on book sale day!

Do you see each other outside of this day each month? 

We all taught at L & L Montessori school when this began, and it’s been a fun way to keep up with good friends as some retire or change careers. Frances has recently retired to the mountains, we are going to visit her in two weeks and we bought a couple of books  from the book sale to take to her.

What do you like most about doing this?   

We all share a love for reading, and it’s great fun to share and discuss what we’ve read. I sometimes can find books my grandchildren will enjoy. Mostly, though, it’s wonderful to spend time together.

What role has FOLSOI played in bringing you together? 

It has enabled the deep friendships we forged at work to continue and grow. It’s also a great way to support our library. We’ve all introduced new friends to the book sale.

What genre do you and your friends like to read? What are your reading choice likenesses and differences? 

We all enjoy many genres, but mysteries are perhaps our universal favorite. We also enjoy comedies, biographies and crime/detective stories to name a few.

Do you share books? Re-donate them to the bookstore after you’ve read them?  

We share back and forth, and re-donate about 99%. Occasionally we’ve found new books for gifts. We all have a favorite author or series we collect and have found some “keepers.”

The Kids of FOLSOI

Quinn (age 2) and Nolan (age 4) Millard attended Barbee Library’s story time today with their mom, Treva Millard. They are residents of Southport and are just two of the 1,000 home-schooled children in Brunswick County.

Friends of the Library Southport and Oak Island is working to connect with home school support groups in Brunswick County to provide resources for families who choose to home school their children.

How can our libraries support you and your family? What information would you like to see available in the libraries?

Ellie Kaufhold & Sophia Baldwin’s Book Review 

Two Peas in a Pod – Sarah Mlynowski

Dork Diaries: Tales from a NOT-SO-Fabulous Life – Rachel Renée Russell

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