San Luis Obispo Friends of the Library

Supporting the SLO Library, its community and the SLO Community

Fall 2012


From the President

I am pleased to report that your 2012-13 Board is working very hard to continue its support to our San Luis Obispo Library, including examining ways to increase our income so that we may provide even more financial support. I am pleased to announce that we received an $18,000 grant from the Miossi Foundation. This grant, along with our other fund-raising efforts, goes to enhance the programs and services of our wonderful San Luis Obispo Library.

With that in mind, a major goal of the Board this year is to increase our membership. We are trying to do this in several ways. If you look at our web site,,  under the direction of our new Board member, Lanny Hernandez, we are enhancing the site with many new features. This is still a work in progress, but some changes have already taken place and others will be coming shortly, so please check out the web site.

We are also looking at ways to reach a greater audience of library users and let them know about our Friends organization. We hope to have more information soon about plans to increase this awareness.

I realize everyone receiving this Newsletter is a member, but you too can help by mentioning to your friends about our organization. As you all know, once you become a member, you are allowed to attend the first night of our annual Book Sale, which gives you first crack at so many wonderful, books, DVDs, etc. Even more important, your membership dues, which is very nominal, helps support our library.

The Friends organization doesn’t have any hidden cost for administration. What we earn is available to our library, which provides so many valuable resources and services to our community. So please help, if you can.

The Board also continues to support literacy in the community.  Under Kristen Hauber‘s  leadership and the Board liaison of Sally Hillis, we have volunteers at Hawthorne Elementary School working with these young children to enhance their love of reading.

It is exciting being part of the Board, but even more important is being a member and continuing to support such a key component to the quality of life in San Luis Obispo – our public library.

Thank you for your support and if you can help us get new members, it would be very much appreciated.

Thank you.

Ken Barclay

Library Manager’s Update

In each of the Friends’ newsletters I usually start out by talking about how busy we are and all the programs we have going on and all our upcoming plans. I suppose this edition of my report is no exception. If I had one word to describe our current state of affairs in the library I’d say CONSTRUCTION.

The first floor public restrooms were recently completely gutted and as new bathrooms are being put in, visitors to the library have one of two temporary port-a-potties to choose from just outside our side door. It’s not pretty but it works and we certainly are looking forward to brand-spanking new restrooms on our first floor. You might have also noticed that we no longer have a second floor computer lab. It too was recently gutted and workers are busy to get it ready for the eventual move in of the Literacy Council.

It has been our goal for many years to move all of the pubic Internet computers to one location on the first floor and that is currently under construction. The reading area by the front windows is not looking too pretty lately but soon we’ll have a 15-computer lab down there, allowing more seating to be placed on the second floor. All our newspapers and magazines are being moved to the second floor as well. It’s a quieter space so we’re hoping our new reading area also proves to be as beneficial as our new computer lab.

One renovation project that is a bit more creative and enjoyable is our public art project. The jury, which includes me and Friends’ board member, Dawnna McDougall (as well as several others) met recently and we did not choose any of the 17 designs for our four atrium walls. Four of the artists have been invited back for an October 23 presentation, where they will take our suggestions and re-do their renderings more to our preferences. We hope to have an artist chosen on the 23 rd and work to begin shortly after the first of the year.

Speaking of art, you may have noticed that we have lovely artwork in our stairwell, courtesy of the Museum of Art and their Art about Town program. Look for new artwork several times a year.

Thank you to the Friends for the grant to move forward with the public art project and also for Dawnna’s participation in the jury. And thank you for your patience as we shake the place up a bit and give some areas a much needed face lift. When all this work and renovation and construction are finished, we hope it will look beautiful and prove to be more practical and useful for our many visitors.

Kristine Tardiff
Library Manager, SLO City Library


Hawthorne School Reading Program, 2012

The FOL has been offering this program for several years to benefit one of the schools in our district – Hawthorne Elementary. It has been quite successful, thanks to committed volunteers.

The program is fairly simple, teachers request volunteers for certain days and times. Then the volunteers find the times that fit their schedules and commit to them for the current school year. Usually, it is an hour or less at a time, and you will be listening or reading to each assigned child for about ten minutes or so.

If you are interested in participating for the 2012-13 school year, please email Kristen Hauber:
At that time, you will receive a School Volunteer Application to complete and deliver to the Hawthorne School Office, 2125 Story Street, SLO, ph.# 596-4070.You will also be sent a link to our “Sign-up Genius” website that will show the teacher’s requests and give you the opportunity to sign-up!

Books for Sale 2012

Looking for a good read or a new book for your collection?   Well, the Friends of the Library hosts three octagonal bookshelves on the first floor of the library with books for sale.

The books are priced at $3.00 for hard cover, $2.00 for trade paperbacks, and just a buck for mass-market paperbacks.

Books are added twice a week, so check frequently.   Items that have not sold after 4 months are removed from the bookshelves.

Books available come from a variety of genres, but we are limited by what has been donated.If you have one or more books that you no longer need in your collection, please consider donating to the Friends of the Library.

The library has first choice on donated books, but many great books are available for sale.

Your donation will either help the library offering or help provide funds for the library from the sale of them.   Either way the library benefits and you have contributed.

Magazines for Sale 2012

Stop by the Friends of the Library Magazine Rack!
Current, recently read magazines are added daily – over 400 titles are donated and priced from 25¢ to $1.00. You will find a wide range of interests, for example, The Atlantic, Cooks Illustrated, Discover, Eating Well, The Economist, Forbes, Golf World, Hang Gliding, Mac User, Martha Stewart, National Geographic, Newsweek, Oprah, Preservation, Rolling Stone, Western Horseman, Woodworking… just a sample!  There’s sure to be something there for you!

Treasurer’s Report

We ended our 2011-2012 fiscal year in June, 2012, much as we started it: with cash in our bank accounts and a long wish list of ways to spend it from the Library.

Our most significant annual fundraising event each year continues to be our Book Sale. Thanks to outstanding efforts from so many volunteers, both at the sale and all through the year, we had another very successful sale, once again netting more than $15,000.

Equally important, many of our members either renew just so that they can attend the Book Sale, or they join on the Thursday night Members’ only night. As a result, this successful sale will continue to benefit us into the future, as we raised almost $4,000 in March with new or renewing memberships, which while impressive, is some what less than prior years.

One new source of income for the Friends in the past year has been the one week rentals of new and popular DVDs. We have earned about $250 per month from this source, which means we are netting about $100 per month.

Sales of used books and magazine in the Library remains a significant source of revenue to us comes, with more almost $5,000 in income through June.

The funds we raise from the Book Sale, membership, DVDs and book and magazine sales make it possible to provide a significant amount of money to the library for materials and programs. Each year, the Friends receive a funding request from each department in the library, the most recent of which we approved for payment at the start of July, 2012. Included in this year’s request are funding for new two new books carts, more than $25,000 for books and other materials and a continuation of the Library’s very successful series of programs for children, teens and adults.

In addition, the Friends continue to be blessed by our community and its boundless generosity. In addition to our many supporters who donate to us year in and year out, we received a significant bequest from long time volunteer, Barbara Baltimore, who passed away last year. In addition, for the second year in a row, we have received a grant from a charitable trust set up by a supporter. With this bequest, the charitable trust, and others like it, the Friends will continue to be able to help meet the library’s needs in the future.

Thank you for your continued support of the library.

The Friends of the Library is a 501(c)(3) organization. We appreciate the generous donations of all its supporters, including our many members.

Summer Reading Program

This was an exciting year for the SLO County Libraries Summer Reading Program! We had record participation by folks from all over San Luis Obispo County (over 5,500 participants) and we were also able to expand our services through partnerships and innovation. We had over 1500 children and teens participate in San Luis Obispo alone.

In the past the Summer Reading Program was limited to children ages 3-18, but through popular demand we expanded the program this year to include the under 3 set. After all, we are always encouraging people to read to their babies (knowing that it increases their capacity for language and learning) so why not reward them for doing so? In our inaugural year for babies we had around 200 parents sign up and over 100 families earn a free board book for their babies. They earned the board books by reading 20 stories to their infant or toddler.

We also were able to add a great incentive for teen readers this summer. Over 1000 teens in SLO County participated in the Summer Reading Program to earn books, prizes and enter into a drawing for an iPod touch. The iPod touch was donated by Brian Lawler of the SLO County Library Foundation, and helped increase the number of teens who completed their reading goals by almost 150 teens! This incentive was a huge hit with teens countywide and many of the older kids expressed interest in this prize as well!

Finally, SLO County Library Youth Services conducted a survey as part of the 2012 Summer Reading Program. We asked families to tell us what they liked about the program and what they would change and over 450 families responded. Here are some of the most interesting results:
Repeat participation:

  • 30% of participants were taking part in the program for the first time,
  • 70% were repeat participants
  • 67% had 2 or more family members participate in the program,
  • 25% had only one child participate

The top reasons people loved the Summer Reading Program:

  • 34% of participants said they loved the program because it motivated their children to read
  • 13% said their children loved it because they already liked to read
  • 13% said they did it for the prizes!

Families let us know that they think of the library in the following ways:

  • 94% said it is “a place to find things to read
  • 87% said the library is “a friendly place”
  • 80% called the library “a place for us”
  • 77% said it is a “peaceful place”
  • 55% mentioned the library as a place for “activities and shows”
  • 47% called the library “a place to see family or friends”

The San Luis Obispo Friends of the Library had a vital role in the success of the SLO Library’s 2012 Summer Reading Program. They sponsored 14 summer shows that over 1030 people attended during the months of June and July! These shows included magic shows, a college prep workshop for teens, pajama story times, a hands-on science workshop, the “Paranormal Investigators”, Irish music, a puppet show, and more! We were also able to provide outreach Summer Reading Programs at Pacheco, Bishop’s Peak, SLO Parks and Rec, C.L. Smith and Juvenile Hall allowing children that cannot come to the library a chance to read and be rewarded where they are.

A tremendous Thank You to the SLO Friends of the Library for a terrific summer! We couldn’t do it without you!

Margaret Kensinger-Klopfer
Youth Services Coordinator

SLO Library / Cloud Star Art Competition

Amelia Carpender and Cypris Hogan are the winners of the art competition for 2013. Their artwork will be featured on the Summer Reading Program book bags to be handed out as rewards in 2013.

Beneath the Surface by Amelia Carpender, age 14.

Dig into Reading by Cyprus Hogan, age 9

Legislative Update

When Governor Brown signed the budget this summer, he left intact $4.7 million for the California Library Services Act and public library literacy programs. The break down is $1.88 million for CLSA and $2.82 million for literacy programs. The state money allows California to continue to take advantage of federal matching funds which protect library grants and projects.

DVD Rentals

Missed that new movie when it was in town? Come to the SLO library and check out our DVD rental collection. The best part is it’s only $2.00 a week and there are no holds. Some of our newest titles in the collection are: Moonrise Kingdom, Safety Not GuaranteedHeadhunters, The Avengers, Five Year EngagementSnow White and the Huntsman, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Prometheus, Madagascar 3 and full seasons of the television series Modern Family and Mad Men.

SLO Friends of the Library Board of Directors – 2012/2013

President Ken Barclay
1st VP Laura Lehmann
2nd VP Leslie Goetz
Treasurer Suzanne Fryer
Recording Secretary Irene Ray
Parliamentarian Prisila Johnson
Webmaster Lanny Hernandez
Board Members Carolyn Carotenuti
  Sally Hillis
  Jaime Juarez
  Jean Kidder
  Dawnna McDougall
  Paul Murphy
  Norie Placak
  Diane Diamond


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