Teen Program Award

by Christine Volker

Añgela Cox, Teen Services Librarian announced that the Teen S.A.T. Workshop garnered a silver award for Best Testing Preparation Program by Parents Press Newspaper’s Contra Costa County voters.

Congratulations, Añgela!

Each year, she puts her heart into preparing young people for success via this program, which the Friends sponsor.

Her letter can be found below:




Member Surveys

by Christine Volker

In May Untitledwe reached out to members, exploring potential activities and their suggestions. Thank you to all of our respondents!

Here’s the scoop: The response rate was an incredible 40%. This demonstrates that our members are engaged and care about our organization and its mission.

They support book sales, which are a critical fund raising mechanism, they donate books and/or purchase them from us. 64% have read our newsletter, a key in our ongoing communication and community building. 58% have borrowed materials from the library in the past year.

Their views of which goals are most important (voting for more than one was allowable):

Raise funds for the library (69%), build a culture of literacy (41%), act as an advocate for library funding (41%). Their suggestions for programs include: author talks (46%), large book sales (27%), with additional tips on resume writing workshops, special programs like music in the library, doing joint programs with the Richmond Public Library Foundation and the Library Commission.

Current book donation hours were cited by a few members as too narrow and inconvenient. We’re working on that.

Thanks to all of our members for their thoughts and suggestions.

Summer Activities

By Christine Volker

We hope that you are enjoying these long days. So far, the Friends of the Richmond Public Library are sponsoring eleven programs during the summer. While most are intended for kids, even adults can attend and participate.

Take, for example, the Nor Cal Bats program, which I attended at the West Side Branch. The organization works with injured bats, rehabilitates them and releases them into the wild. Bats are fascinating creatures with an undeservedly bad reputation. One of the bat species brought to the program, a Mexican free tail bat, can fly up to 60 miles an hour, in the dark, and pinpoint its insect prey by awesome, sonar-like, echolocation abilities. The kids and adults attending were mesmerized.

Below are photos of this bat program. Two more will be on July 13 (Main Library) and July 26 (Bayview Branch). Check our calendar for details.

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Each year, the Friends of the Richmond Public Library fund summer reading programs. These fun games encourage reading, library use and exploration, with prizes going to the players/raffle. Here are a few highlights, with details on the Library’s website via the links provided below. Go ahead and enter.

Summer Reading Program for Adults (Read, explore library resources and get a chance to win a Kindle.)

Summer Reading Program for Teens (Read, write and get Starbucks card and a raffle for an Asus Chrome Book or Stub Hub gift card.)

Summer Reading Program for Kids (Read and color, collect prizes.)

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We are sponsoring a reading and talk by the author of Every Woman’s Dream, Mary Monroe. Come to the Whittlesey Room at the Main Library (325 Civic Center Plaza) on Saturday, July 9, from 2 to 3:30 PM for this free event. Copies of her latest book will be available for purchase, with proceeds benefiting The Richmond Public Library Foundation.

On a closing note, we received a great response rate of 40% on our May survey, mailed to members. Thank you for your views and suggestions! We’ll report out next month.

May Happenings

By Christine Volker

Thanks to everyone who purchased books at our May 21 book sale! We offered great books at low prices. They included best sellers, as well as art and cocktail table books. We enjoyed a steady stream of patrons and intend to repeat the sale to increased success next year.

Below are visual highlights, including Richmond councilmember, Vinay Pimple, purchasing an audiobook. Many found the offerings irresistible, like Emma Clark on our board and Katy Curl, Library and Cultural Services Director (not pictured).

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Vinay Pimple and Joni Owen   


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Emma Clark


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Sometimes deciding isn’t easy


Not only did we sell hundreds of books on May 21, we also conducted our Board and Annual Meeting. A key component was the selection of officers for our fiscal year starting July 1. Here are the officers:

Christine Volker, President

Emma Clark, Vice President

Michele Renee Ramos, Secretary

Cindy Valentine, Treasurer

Board members continuing onwards are: Martha Bielawski, Don Woodrow and Kathy Haug.

In addition, two members-at-large have also joined:

Gilberto A. Cooper

Antonia Lozon

We are pleased that their energy and skills will join with ours as we make the Friends an even more vibrant organization.

Our deep thanks go to:

Martha Bielawski, outgoing President, for her service and dedication in the office.

We are grateful for the work of these individuals who are leaving the board:

Dianne Wightman, who expertly and efficiently served as Co-Treasurer for 13 years.

Lucy Carlund, who skillfully assisted in the Treasurer function; we are pleased that she will continue to dedicate herself to our book sorting and sales operation.

Betty Ann Barnett, who is retiring from the board after many years.

Upcoming Events

We’re pleased to announce our Select Book Sale and Annual Meeting.

They’ll take place on Saturday, May 21 at the Main Library’s Whittlesey Community Room and veranda at 325 Civic Center, Richmond, 94804.

From 12 noon to 4 PM we will be offering books at discounted prices, along with a selection of special books. Buy a few for family, friends or your own collection. Come join us and have some refreshments as well.

At 2 PM we will convene our Annual Meeting to vote on key matters like officers and bylaws. At the meeting, our members can nominate an “at-large director” on the board. Information is in the mail to members,along with a brief survey.