Volunteer Opportunities


Be a Homework Help Tutor for kids grades K-6. 8/30/16 to 5/31/17, from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Adult volunteers can work from one to four hours per week.

Contact Susan White at: susan_white@ci.richmond.ca.us and


City Volunteer Forms available at:


MORE OPPORTUNITIES at Friends of the Richmond Public Library

We are seeking volunteers for book sorting. In addition, we welcome those with publicity, social media and technology talent. Email us at FriendsRPLCA@yahoo.com or call 510-620-6555 and leave a message

Summer is Almost Over

by Christine Volker

As many of you know, during summer, the library is busier than ever delivering programs, trying to reach kids and teens when they’re out of school and adults, as always.

The latest results from our elementary schools in Richmond on the California Assessment of Student Progress and Performance shows that on average, across schools, 47% of students are not meeting the English Language Arts/Literacy standard.   For our public high schools, outcomes are similar.

These underline how much more work we need to do to prepare our youth for better futures. Library programs are part of that.

Below is a sampling of the library’s programs this summer:

50 Story Times took place, with 1,631 children in attendance

In 17 sessions, the Reading Heroes program, aimed at improving children’s reading skills, served a total of 321 children. This was accomplished by volunteers contributing 192.5 hours.

250 kids participated in the Summer Reading Game, with drawing prizes by the Friends.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) workshops took place in August with a total of 63 kids who built circuits and towers with provided materials.

Additionally, 776 people enjoyed specialized children’s programs and other activities sponsored by the Friends of the Richmond Public Library.

For adults, a well-attended author talk by Mary Monroe, financial and legal seminars, along with Summer Reading Games for both adults and teens rounded out the offerings.

And, for kids of all ages, two distinguished professors, pictured below, led eager participants on Pokémon Go Safaris!

Sandra Stewart, Administrative Librarian, and Janelle Van Hook, Librarian

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.