Happenings and Plans

By Christine Volker

Our annual meeting back in May was a success!

Attendees were treated to behind the scenes tours of the library, along with a visit to the history room where materials on our city are housed. We thank all of our guests. We were pleased that one Richmond City Council Member, Vinay Pimple, could attend. This is a first and we welcome his colleagues in the future.

We also recognized long time Board member Mary McVittie, now resigned, for her service.

Librarian Karen Roy discussing the seed library (Photo courtesy of Michele Renee Ramos)

After heading the Friends as President for the past two years, Emma handed the reins to Martha Bielawski. Emma has been an inspirational and energetic leader. We are pleased that she is staying on our board as Vice President.

Martha has been active on the board for a number of years, knows the library and the Friends organization well and will be continuing to seek ways for the Friends to be even more successful in our efforts to support library programs.

Speaking of library programs, here are selected statistics for the first six months of 2015:

The Library presented 147 story times for children, with 3,144 in attendance.

The Homework Help program volunteers assisted 888 children.

There were ten specially sponsored programs with attendance of 642 people.

Emma Clark presenting to Mary McVittie (Photo courtesy of Michele Renee Ramos)

Additionally, this summer’s Richmond Reading Heroes program provided 460 one-on-one sessions with 50 children to improve their reading. A few comments by parents and a participant follow:

“My child is now very enthused about reading. But before the program he didn’t even want to go to the library. Now when I take him he really likes it.”

“It helped me read and I had fun. Are you going to have it next year?”

“It really encouraged my child and made him want to come to the library and read. He told me the tutors helped him to pronounce the words. I hope you always have this program.”

Note that 49% of Richmond residents speak a language other than English at home. 

Year in and year out, Teen Librarian, Angela Cox, has organized both fun and educational programs for teens. Earlier in the year the Friends again supported a series of SAT workshops. One outcome is the awarding of the “SAT” (“Scholarships are Terrific”) scholarship for $1,000.

Congratulations go to Yann Picouleau, this year’s winner, who will be studying Industrial Design at San Jose State University.


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