Friends of the Library

Library Friends Organize Book Flash Mob

Book flash mob

“The idea is to pay it forward and give back to the community,” McRae-Dickey said. “It’s sharing something that was meaningful in our lives.”

Organized locally by the Friends of the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, Wednesday’s event lasted 15 minutes. Participants were asked to wear a yellow hat, to gather at the assigned location at the assigned time and to start reading. The idea was that when a passerby asked one of the yellow-hatted readers what was going on, the reader would hand their book to that person.

“It’s so much fun to see people doing this,” said Witham. “I love this community,” She added that she already is in the habit of passing along her favorite books.

“If I made my own bumper sticker, it would read: ‘So many books, so little time.’ ”

Topanga Canyon Library: Not Just Another Pipe Dream

In an age of library closings and cuts, here's some good news: a brand new library for Topanga Canyon, CA. Story from Huffington Post.

The two women who spear-headed this decade-long -- and yes, it was well over a decade -- quest were themselves fifteen and eighteen year residents of Topanga, moms of kids in the Topanga elementary school, all of whom used to visit the weekly Las Virgenes Bookmobile. One of the mom's, Cynthia Scott, became a volunteer, and she -- inspired by her kids -- started gathering petitions about getting a library. She now works for County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, the third crucial element in this triad of a deal.

The second mom, Adriane Allan, was a library science student who got a Masters in Library Science from UCLA. In 2001, she had been working on a paper about the importance of libraries to their communities, and something sparked. She called Supervisor Yaroslavsky's office, where they were -- quite understandably -- a tad discouraging. Nevertheless, she started to gather all kinds of information for her paper. What would it take to build a library in Topanga?? Names, facts, feasibility studies... The figures were discouraging, to say the least, but she wanted to finish her paper!! (This woman is now a Santa Monica Children's Librarian, bless her heart.)

The article's author Jodi Lampert adds...go kiss your librarian, today!!

It Pays ($100K+!) To Have Friends


ROCHESTER, MI — The Friends of the Rochester Hills Public Library recently gave the library $105,000 in funds raised throughout 2011.

“We were very pleased with the amount we raised this year,” said Friends President Kathy Dorn. “It’s the first time in recent history that we’ve gone over $100,000. I want to say we did $85,000 last year.”

Library Director Christine Lind Hage said the money will be used to fund free public programs — for both adults and children — throughout 2012, and to purchase 70 new public computers. Congratulations to the Friends!

Not All "Books For Charity" Go To Charity

For-profit book recycler behind popular donation program sells many of the books received.

Full story at

Excerpt from story: The bins worry Cady because he helps run Prescott Library's used bookshop. It raises thousands of dollars for library programs by selling donated books. Like many Friends of Library groups around the country, Cady worries the bins are siphoning off donations that normally would come to them.

In Escondido, It's All Over But The Booksale

Here's the President of the Escondido (CA) Friends of the Library showing what's left from their closed branch library.

Former patrons of the closed East Valley Branch Library in Escondido will have a last chance to pick a best-seller off the shelf this weekend when the city holds a sale to clear all books from the building.

About 10,000 books and several shelves of movies on videotape are scheduled to go on sale from noon to 7 p.m. Sept. 9 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 10 at the old branch library, 2245 E. Valley Parkway, which closed in June because of budget cuts.

The branch once held about 54,500 volumes, and about 44,000 books have been moved to the main library. At the invitation of recently retired librarian Laura Mitchell, 15 Escondido elementary school teachers then took about 40 boxes of children's books for their students.

The 10,000 or so books that remain are about twice the number the Friends of the Escondido Public Library usually has in its inventory in the bookstore at the main library, 239 S. Kalmia St., said Friends President Elmer Cameron, pictured above.

Read more:

The Uni Project

The Uni is a portable, open-air reading room that will launch in New York City, Fall, 2011. ( The reading room will bring books and learning experiences to street-level space within parks, plazas, and even vacant lots. Husband and wife Sam Davol and Leslie Davol are the team behind the project, and the Uni is based on the Storefront Library, which they created in Boston's Chinatown in 2009-2010. Sam is also the cellist for the band The Magnetic Fields. Within one week of launching a fundraising drive on, the Uni was 50% of the way to its funding goal. The drive ends August 15 (

The Uni is a portable infrastructure based on a system of cubes, and the books inside those cubes are just the start. Like traditional libraries, the Uni will also provide a venue for readings, talks, workshops, and screenings, through partnerships with local organizations and institutions. The lightweight infrastructure can be installed in various configurations at different scales, and it can transform available space into places of community use, learning, and public engagement.

The design is by Höweler + Yoon Architects, with Prof. J. Meejin Yoon of MIT. The fabrication team is J. Meejin Yoon, David Costanza, and Alexander Marshall. Fabrication is underway at MIT.

East Texas Librarian Robbed at Gunpoint

For a jar that contained less than $100.00 --

DAINGERFIELD, TX (KLTV) : An East Texas woman was robbed at gun point in the Daingerfield Public Library just after 9:00 am Monday morning. Police have arrested a a 19 year-old on an aggravated robbery charge.

The suspect entered the library shortly after it opened and requested to use a computer. Earlene Walton was working and agreed to sign him in and get him all situated, since he did not have a library card.

The suspect told Walton that he had forgotten something and left the building. When he returned, he pulled out a gun. Within minutes, the suspect had fled with a jar that friends of the library used to collect donations.

True Friends (and True Crime) at the Pasadena Public Library

The LA Times Jacket Copy reports: It took two 10-foot U-Haul trucks packed to the ceiling to carry Tom McGuinn's collection of mystery novels away. McGuinn's inventory, amassed over more than 40 years, has been given by his widow to the nonprofit Friends of the Pasadena Public Library. On Saturday the organization will be selling those books in a massive mystery book sale to benefit the library's programs.

In all, there are about 9,000 mysteries, stretching from the last few years back to the 1970s. The books are, for the most part, bestsellers -- books by Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly, Daniel Silva, Jonathan Kellerman and many, many more.

Of those books, more than 3,600 have been signed by their author. That's an enormous number McGuinn gathered from various sources, according to the Friends Helen Overstreet. He went to book signings, attended the annual Book Expo publishing conference and bought them signed from bookstores when he traveled.

The mystery book sale will be held at Roosevelt Elementary School in Pasadena. There will be a $20 fee for early birds at 9 a.m.; admission is free after 9:45. The Friends of the Pasadena Public Library ask buyers to bring their own bags and boxes; they've got their hands full just getting everything alphabetized. The sale is cash only.

Agoura Hills CA Library Library Bookshop a Winner

The Book Cellar, a nonprofit used bookstore in the basement of the Agoura Hills Library, is a hidden treasure trove that raises funds for the library and donates books to schools, prisons and even other nations.

Cozy and filled to the brim, the Book Cellar once again claimed a spot in L.A. Weekly’s Best of L.A. In the weekly’s 2010 “Best of” edition, the Cellar was named the “Best Excuse to Buy ‘Crime and Punishment.’” The Cellar won the publication’s “ Best Literary Mine” in the 2008 “ Best of L.A.” edition.

Eric and Diane Haupt have been managing the Book Cellar for years and count on community volunteers from the Friends of the Agoura Hills Library to man the store each week. Eric Haupt said 95 percent of the Cellar’s proceeds support the library. Since California’s economy tanked, the money has been used to bridge the gap left by state budget cuts.

Eric Haupt said he recently wrote a check for $7,000 to renew the library’s subscriptions to newspapers, magazines and other periodicals. “We’re doing great and we’re only open one day a week,” Eric Haupt said.

Report from The Acorn.

Rancho Mirage Friends and Foundation Settle Major Financial Dispute

The Friends of the Rancho Mirage (CA) Public Library will hand almost all of its $2.2 million in assets over to Rancho Mirage and dissolve itself, under the terms of a settlement agreement which will end the city’s lawsuit against the organization. Report from My Desert News.

The city is to get $310,000 from the Friends’ account within a week to cover Library programs, improvements to the Community Room and other items included in the city’s funding request to the Friends from last August. About $1.8 million will be transferred to the Rancho Mirage Public Library Foundation, which the city formed as a replacement library fundraising arm when it filed suit in September.

The settlement ends a dispute which erupted in the fall of 2008, when the Friends board gave approval to buying a $25,000 sponsorship of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, a transaction never made after some board members raised objections.

This led to the city’s discovery that the Friends board had changed its bylaws, without notifying city officials, to eliminate an annual, automatic transfer of funds. The city had overlooked the end of the fund transfers.

The Friends board said most of the money it had in the bank was designated by donors to be in an endowment, set aside to draw interest, and not spent itself.


Subscribe to Friends of the Library