San Luis Obispo Friends of the Library

Supporting the SLO Library, its community and the SLO Community

Summer 2011


From the President

From the President
Summertime is here! The summer months are here, bringing with them more free time for students who are on summer vacation. The SLO library hosts many fun activities for students of all ages, including a summer reading program for children, teens, and adults. Be sure to check out the calendar of events when you visit the library or online by clicking on the San Luis Obispo libraries or on the library Web site (
The San Luis Obispo Friends of the Library were very busy setting up, selling, and cleaning up after our very productive book sale in March. With the membership renewals, donations, and sales, we netted around $15,000. Please keep your donations of good-quality books coming! In addition to providing $40,000 of material and pro-gram support for the 2010 fiscal year, we approved another $40,000 for the 2011 fiscal year.
Our May membership meeting was held at the San Luis Country Club where we had a lovely lunch and we retreated to a presentation by Liu Yu, who talked about her life in China and her new book, Awakening the SleepingTiger: The True Story of a Professional Chinese Athlete.
Perhaps you have finally gotten used to the new self-checkout procedure. It does take a bit to get used to the new way, but once you do, you will find that it significantly shortens the time it takes to check out your materials. The Friends have contributed $50,000 to this renovation.  Other improvements to the check out process include locating the AV materials you have requested in the same place as your book requests and collecting the fees only when they come close to the $10.00 maximum.
Laura C. Lehmann,


Annual Volunteer Breakfast

“Plentiful” “scrumptious,” and “well-planned”, were just a few of the adjectives used to describe the breakfast held in the Community Room on Saturday, April 30th. About 40 volunteers, staff, and Friends of the Library attended, ate, chatted, and celebrated the extraordinary efforts and many hours volunteers have contributed during the past year. Heidi LoCasio, volunteer coordinator, Kristine Tardiff, SLO Library Manager, and FOL President Laura Lehmann gave brief welcomes. For her first volunteer breakfast, Assistant County Librarian, Margaret Ester, expressed special gratitude to all the volunteers who have done so much to help alleviate ongoing budget issues. Everyone promised to return next year…and bring a new volunteer with him or her!


Carolyn Carotenuti

Library Manager’s Update

Our public art project took a good turn the other day when the City Council approved the $35,000 public art matching funds we had been hoping for. Our public art fundraising committee met last week as well and we have a plan in place to start raising the funds. Starting next month, we hope to begin the process of raising our $35,000 end of the bargain. The four atrium walls will be painted with murals celebrating the geography and beauty of our county. Three of the four walls in the children’s rooms will also have murals, possibly in a more whimsical style. Eight of the thirteen pillars in the library will have wildflowers or butterflies of our region painted on them. We hope to have an “open call” for artists sometime in early fall, once we have raised all the money.
The Friends approved our request of $40,000 this year to help fund materials and programs in the library starting July 1. The audiovisual department requested new shelving so that customers can better read the spines of the DVDs. Speaking of DVDs, the Friends also approved $2,000 toward a DVD rental collection, allowing newly released films to be available only here in SLO (no holds, no renewals) for a rental fee of $2 for a week’s check-out. This program is similar to an Express collection, with the goal of having more new items available at all times. Steve Kinsey, our audiovisual librarian, is working on a list of new-release/high-demand DVDs which the Friends will purchase to add to the collection. I think all our film aficionados will be happy to see the new addition to audiovisual. Also included in the $40,000 is support for children’s materials and programs including the many performers hired throughout the year, adult materials and programs including audiovisual, and reference materials.
We also worked with the Friends to apply for a grant to support teen scientists in the community. Through the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust, we applied to have two teen interns in the library work with five science experts/mentors in the community to develop school-age science programs and kits and to assist us in redesign-ing the teen space to appeal more to teens. We will find out at the end of July whether we were awarded the grant.
Our countywide project, supported by a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant of $75,000, is allow-ing us to hold focus groups and survey youth about their opinions of services in the county, including those offered by the library. We hope to get a good idea of what teens do, what they wished the county offered and what libraries can do to reach out to youth. It’s been a very eye-opening and exciting project with our main goals being collaborating with youth-serving agencies to better serve youth and offering youth the materials, programs and services they’d like from our libraries.
The summer reading program began this month and already we are inundated with signups for the children’s, teen, and adult programs. The Library Fairy visited with some wonderful storytelling for kids. Steve has a film series for the month of July called the Dystopian Film Series, with showings of Brazil, Children of Men, Metropolis, and Gattaca. Check out our events calendar for days and times.
A big thank you for the Friends continued support of the library, staff and customers. We couldn’t do it without you. So many of our programs are funded by the Friends and with a cut to our materials budget, we rely on the Friends to help supplement our ever-popular materials. Much appreciated!


Kristine Tardiff,
Library Manager, SLO City Library

Library Seeks Homebound Patrons

The library is looking for homebound people who need a volunteer to pick out and deliver library books and/or materials to them. This service is free. A volunteer will contact the patron, discuss the types of books he or she enjoys, particular authors, etc., and then make the selections at the library and deliver them to the patron. The volunteer will return the books to the library when they are due and make other selections for the patron. Persons interested in availing themselves of the service should contact Heidi LoCasio at the library by email: 

Hawthorne School Reading Program

We have just finished the second year of the Friends of the Library reading program at Hawthorne Elementary School. This program originated as a result of money FOL received from the estate of Lucile Hale. The program expanded from the original five classrooms to nine classes in 2010-2011, and now includes the kindergarten and the third-grade classes. Our library volunteers tutored 215 students, and this summer they will be tutoring 50 students in the two summer school classes from June 27 to July 28.
The reading program was designed to help early-elementary students enhance their reading skills and develop success and joy in reading. The program is integrated into the existing reading curriculum, and volunteer tutors work under the guidance of the classroom teachers. Typically this might involve a teacher asking a volunteer to pull out individuals and read with one for about 10 minutes and then read with the next student. The volunteer listens to the student read one of the books he or she has been studying, checks for comprehension, and offers encouragement.
Another aspect of the program is giving new books to all the students in the nine classes and the two summer classes. The teachers select books for each student based on their reading level and interests. The students are given the books to keep and read on their own or with their parents this summer. We hope this will be helpful in reducing the loss of reading skills that typically occurs over school vacations. This year FOL provided the books at a total cost of $2,500. For many students, these are the first books they have ever owned.
V olunteers Jack and Barbara Daily

V olunteers Jack and Barbara Daily

The principal, Kirt Collins, and the teachers have expressed their appreciation for the volunteers’ service and all the books that have been given to the students. During the school year the students seem eager for opportunity to read, one-to-one, with the volun-teers, and the volunteers report they enjoy working with the chil-dren. It looks a lot like Christmas when the books arrive for the students in late May; they are so excited to see what books they are receiving. Cloth book bags are also provided by FOL for kindergarten and first-grade students who are new to the program this year. Jack Daily, who led the program’s development in 2009-2010, provided critical support getting the books and book bags this year.
Jacqueline Pina and Anaya Zepeda with teacher Kimberly Dimbat

Jacqueline Pina and Anaya Zepeda with teacher Kimberly Dimbat

Volunteers are always needed. We have been fortunate to have a well-qualified and dependable group of more than 25 volunteers this year. Although we have a number of dedicated tutors, we are always looking for people interested in reading. We encourage you to consider joining this fun and worthwhile service to our community.  Although many tutors are former teachers, it is cer-tainly neither a requirement nor essential to being a great volunteer.
We are also looking for a new coordinator for the program. It’s not a big job; primarily the coordinator helps match the teachers’ schedules with volunteers at the beginning of the school year. This person does not need to be a volunteer tutor (although, that would be missing out on the fun). The coordinator is the contact person for questions and ideas. The coordinator was Linda Thompson, and Sally Hillis has been the interim coordinator since Linda moved to Arizona in February. Contact Sally Hillis at or 594-1667 or Laura Lehmann at if you are interesting in being a tutor this fall or serving as the coordinator.
Bradley is engrossed in his new book.

Bradley is engrossed in his new book.

Some volunteers shared special memories about their work with students. One told about a boy she had been tutoring who had been reading what he called “baby” books, but now he’s reading chapter books, and he feels so good about himself. Many volunteers received thank-you notes from stu-dents. One person described one this way: “It is particularly precious as it is written in felt tip which bled through the paper, making it seem all the more authentic. She thanks her teacher and me for the books and for being a ‘friend of the library,’ indicating that she considers herself a friend of the library, too, as she likes books.”
FOL volunteer Ruth Jorgensen and Ravi read his new book.

FOL volunteer Ruth Jorgensen and Ravi read his new book.

From another volunteer: “The student and I really liked a book too hard for him, but we agreed that I’d read the left page and he’d read the right page, and we could enjoy the fast-moving story together. We wished the time was longer, as we were both into the book. Another student liked the book and wanted me to read it to him. We both enjoyed it but didn’t spend much time, as the words were too hard. The point is, he was INTO it.”
Truly, Helen, April, Litzy, and Perla proudly show off their new books, gifts from the SLO Friends of the Library.

Truly, Helen, April, Litzy, and Perla proudly show off their new books, gifts from the SLO Friends of the Library.

“It was rewarding to see the students’ skills develop throughout the year. Sometimes I just looked at a book with a student and talked about the pictures. I did this with one student in particular, who about in April, became eager to read to me; he was just ready and showed confidence in doing this.”
Dario finds the perfect place to read his new book!

Dario finds the perfect place to read his new book!

Brinon relaxes while reading his book.

Brinon relaxes while reading his book.


2011 Book Sale Nets Over $15,000

This year’s sale produced the second-highest income in the 32-year history of the sale––the highest income was $18,000 in 2006. In the six years 2006-2011, the sale has had a net income of more than $84,000 (including membership sales and donations during the sale.)
Once again, there is a long list of people who contributed to the success of the sale:


  1. 107 volunteers who worked 574 hours at the sale.
  2. The Warehouse Gang –– 9 volunteers who worked over 600 hours during the year. We will miss Linda Thompson who moved to Tucson earlier this year.
  3. Suzanne Fryer (and husband Bruce) who set up the cash registers, train cashiers, and keep track of all transactions during the sale. Without them, we would still be trying to figureout our receipts.
  4. Becky Juretic, who did a great job as our publicist this year.
  5. Linda Porter, who produced all of our attractive signs.
  6. Tom Martin of San Luis Garbage Co., who provided a dumpster for cardboard boxes.
  7. Sergeant Michelle Voisenat, who provided a truck and crew from the County Honor Farm.
  8. Sean McLaughlin, who bought all the books and audiovisual materials that remained after the sale.
  9. All current and former FOL Board memebers who provide an experienced core in our volunteer group.
The Warehouse Gang is back at work, and we are looking forward to the next sale, Wednesday,
February 29, 2012, through Saturday, March 3, 2012. The actual sale will be: Thursday, March 1, 2012 (6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., members only) Friday, March 2, 2012 (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) Saturday, March 3, 2012 (9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.)
If you would like to volunteer or donate books, please call Paul Murphy at 544-3033.


Annual Lunch Meeting

On May 5 (Cinco de Mayo) at the SLO Country Club, the enthusiasm of the Friends and their guests almost rivaled the Mexican celebration of the day! During a short meeting, new Board members Dawnna McDougall, Sandy Brown, and Lisa Ankenbrandt were elected to replace outgoing members Dotty Conner, Walt Wager, Sarah Ostrye and Linda Porter. One open Board position will be filled at the next meeting. After the delicious lunch, Tai Chi instructor and professional athlete Liu Yu provided interesting insights into her autobiography Awakening the Sleeping Tiger. She explained her reasons for writing and how the book came to be published. During the question-and-answer session, the audience was very responsive and expressed their delight in having her as our guest.


Notice: The cost for reserving an item will be $1.00 starting in July.