San Luis Obispo Friends of the Library

Supporting the SLO Library, its community and the SLO Community

Winter 2013 Newsletter


From the President

As you will all note, a lot has been going on with the Friends organization. This newsletter will attempt to update you.  Especially note, our annual Book Sale is happening very soon- Feb. 28-March 2.

Our annual Book Sale is our major fund-raising event, and there promises to be a wide range of excellent books, plus numerous audio-visual items for sale. Please stop by at the Vets Hall, not only to see all the wonderful items on sale, but also to say hello and meet many of our new Board members.

At our last Board meeting, Paul Murphy, who oversees all aspects of the sale, made a special point of recognizing all the help he gets from so many of you in making this event successful. I want to thank those so involved, past and present.  We couldn’t do it without you, and, of course, thanks to Paul, who makes it all happen.

Those of you for whom we have email addresses will also be receiving an email announcing the availability of the newsletter on-line. Check the article below for more details.

Again, enjoy the newsletter and please come to the Book Sale. See you all soon.

Ken Barclay

Renew Your Membership

Membership in Friends of the Library is on a calendar year basis (refer to your address label). Payment of member dues prior to the book sale is always appreciated. Remit dues along with membership form.

Please note any address changes from past year member records and your interest in volunteering at any of our Friends’ functions. You will be sent a Membership Card to be used for early entry to the first night of the Book Sale.

If you would like to pay by credit card, see the article below on Membership On-Line.

Membership On-line

You may now Join or Renew your Friends of the Library membership on-line from our website. To join or renew your membership, just click on the HELP US menu option, then click JOIN. The screen will display the Membership page which has buttons for paying your dues with a credit card or a PayPal account.

You may also click the Subscribe button if you have a PayPal account and your membership will be kept up to date automatically. PayPal will automatically notify you at renewal time.

You may also gift a membership or a donation. Click Gift-a-Membership form, fill out the form making sure that the name you used when paying matches your name entered on the form.

34th Annual Book Sale

As usual, the Sale will be at the Veterans Memorial Building on Grand Avenue (between Palm and Mill Streets) in San Luis Obispo, and the hours are:

Thursday, February 28th 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (members only, with memberships sold at the door)
Friday, March 1st 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 2nd 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

The size of the Sale will be about the same size as last year’s very successful Sale: over 8,000 audiovisual items (with a larger collection of Books on CD) and over 20,000 books. There are especially large numbers of books in the following categories: children’s, art, cooking, health, history, and literature. Once again, Bill Cochran has organized a very interesting collection of Special Price books.

The success of the Sale is the result of both generous volunteers and donors of books. Every member of the Friends of the Library can help by promoting the Sale among friends and colleagues. Hopefully, such an effort will result in more members of the Friends, and greater sales.

We can always use more volunteers and more donors – contact Paul Murphy at 544-3033.

Books for Sale

Looking for a good read or a new book for your collection?   Well, you don’t have to wait for the annual Book Sale.  The Friends of the Library hosts three octagonal bookshelves in the SLO Library where the Friends sell books all year long.  The bookshelves are located on the first floor to your left as you enter the Library, next to the computer laboratory.

The books are in very good condition and 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.   Support the Friends all year long with your purchase of these items.

By the way, we are always in need of recently published books to put in these sale shelves so we appreciate any donations you would like to make all year long.

Legislative Update

The California Library Association recently announced that Governor Brown does not intend to ask for any reductions for public libraries for the 2013-2014 proposed budgets.

Special Price Books at the Annual Book Sale

Books donated for the annual sale sometimes include rare or unusual titles of interest to the collector or specialist, and searching for these treasures is part of the fun of attending the sale. This year titles likely to arouse the interest of the enthusiast include many about the history of the old west, including:

  • Notes of a Military Reconnaissance, from Fort Leavenworth, in Missouri, to San Diego, in California by Lt. Col. W. H. Emory (1848);
  • Memories of Old Montana by Con Price (1945);
  • The Longest Rope: The Truth About the Johnson County Cattle War, by D. F. Baber (1953);
  • El Gringo, or New Mexico and Her People, by W. W. H. Davis (1857);
  • Five Years a Cavalryman, Or Sketches of Regular Army Life On The Texas Frontier Twenty Odd Years Ago, by H. H. McConnell (1889);
  • Some Recollections of a Western Ranchman, New Mexico 1883-1899, by William French (1928);
  • Alvar Nunez Cabeza De Vaca: The Journey and Route of the First European to Cross the Continent of North America, by Cleve Hallenbeck (1940);
  • Legends of the Southwest, by Cleve and Juanita Hallenbeck (1938);
  • Diego De Vargas and the Reconquest of New Mexico, by Jessie Bailey (1940);
  • The Trail Drivers of Texas, by J. Marvin Hunter (1985);
  • Crofutt’s Overland Tours, by George Crofutt (1888);
  • Mountaineering in Colorado: The Peaks About Estes Park, by Frederick Chapin (1890);
  • Cowboys and Cattleland, by H. H. Halsell (1944);
  • Black Range Tales, Chronicling Sixty Years of Life and Adventure in the Southwest, by James McKenna (1936); and
  • Digging Gold Among the Rockies, by B. Thomas Ingham (1888).

But the rare and unusual are not confined to books about the American west. Other areas and titles to search for include:

  • Old China and Young America, by Sarah Conger (1913);
  • Of All Places, by Richard Patience and Johnny Abee (1937), a description of Hollywood of the 1930s through the eyes of two young people who, with their mother, lived there and met Ginger Rogers, Shirley Temple, Bing Crosby and others;
  • The History of Costume, by Braun Schneider (1910), with many color plates;
  • Adventures in Light and Color, by Charles Connick (1910), a beautiful illustrated book on the design and fabrication of stained glass from medieval times through the 19th century;
  • The Essential  Oils, by George Coe (1926), a classic study of the production and use of oil derived from plants;
  • NO, The Classical Theatre of Japan, by Donald Keene (1966); and
  • Pioneers of the Ozarks, by Lennis Broadfoot, with Broadfoot’s illustrations of pioneer life.

This is just a short list of special books which will be at the March 2013 sale. There will be many others as well.

Bill Cochran, Friends of the Library Volunteer

Editor’s Note:  Special Price Books are priced individually, not by the inch.

Newsletters by Email

Two of our goals for the coming year are to reduce costs and improve our response time in communicating with you, our members. One way to accomplish both is to publish our newsletter electronically. Doing so can reduce our mailing and printing costs as well as provide quicker communication. In addition, it gives us the ability to use more creative newsletter designs, make it easier to read and to provide full color images.

Beginning with this newsletter, those of you who have provided an email address to us with your membership or renewal will receive the newsletter in the printed format as well as an email announcing the availability of the newsletter on-line on our website. In the future, our plan is that those members for whom we have email addresses will only receive the email announcing the availability of the newsletter on-line.

If you received the newsletter only in printed form, it means we do not have your email address. To correct this you can send an email to titled Newsletter with your name in the body of the email and we will add your email address to our membership list.

For those who want to help reduce costs, save trees and get the benefits of the on-line version, we thank you as this will allow us to pass on $100’s more to the SLO Library and our projects.

PS: We will never use your email address for anything other than communicating about the SLO Friends of the Library or the SLO Library. It will never be given to anyone else.

Hawthorne School Reading Program: Volunteers Needed 2013

There is still an opportunity to volunteer as a tutor reading or listening to students read in this program that will help develop their fluency in reading. There are times available to fit your schedule–usually an hour or less.

If you are interested, 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,  (805) 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!


Website Post Notification

If you would like to receive an email whenever we post something new on the Friends of the Library website, all you need to do is enter your email address and click the Notify Me button in the Subscribe To Posts dialog. This is found at the bottom right of the Home page.

You will only receive a notification when a new Post is added to the website.

We will not use your email address entered this way for anything else.

Website Continues to Expand

Please visit our website, It is continuing to grow with new features. We recently added calendars of activities at the SLO Library. Click on the SLO LIBRARY menu option to see the new calendars showing Children’s Activities, Adult Activities and Library Closures and Holidays.

Check out the Recent Posts section where we list new Posts. New Recent Posts show the most recent DVDs available for rent, new activities at the Library and updates on Friends of the Library activities.

Hot Reads for Cold Nights – January 15th – April 16th, 2013

With the New Year the San Luis Obispo Libraries are launching their fourth annual Adult Winter Reading Program, Hot Reads for Cold Nights.  Remember how much fun it was to do the Children’s Summer Reading Programs?  Reading all those great books, getting all those great prizes?  Well, the good times are back!!

You can sign up at the Circulation or Reference desks and get your list of things to “Read, Watch or Listen to.” There are just nine challenges and some can be done quite quickly. In the Reference area there is a display of items that make it easy for you to find something to read, watch or listen to, plus booklists for several of the challenges. You even get a free request card when you sign up!

So come on in, relive those great old memories of Summer reading programs (that the Children’s Department doesn’t let you do anymore) and rediscover the fun of reading, watching or listening to something you might never have picked up on your own. It’s guaranteed to brighten up the Winter months. And there are those great prizes for finishing……

Book Club in a Box (BCB)

As members, you may be interested to know the inside story about some of the projects that Friends of the Library makes possible. Many of you know about Book Club in a Box. Everyone who comes in contact with this wonderful service just loves it!

If you didn’t know, Book Club in a Box are book sets containing 10 copies of one title along with a notebook of background material on the author, suggested discussion questions and other supplemental materials to facilitate a group discussion. Library card holders can check them out for up to six weeks; they can also reserve them in advance. These sets make it easy for local book discussion groups to share and discuss books.

Currently, there are over 40 book sets. New additions include The Great Gatsby and The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, who happens to be Cuesta College’s featured guest author on February 27th for their Book of the Year.

New titles on the way include: In the Garden of the Beasts by Erik Larson, Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes, Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.

This program came about a little over four years ago, originating with an idea from library volunteer and former FOL Board member Sandy Woolley who took her idea to the FOL Board to request their support. It was the first program of its kind in San Luis Obispo County. Now grants from FOL, donations from individual readers, book clubs and the work of Reference Coordinator Pam de Tilla and Sandy Woolley keep it going with new titles added every year.

Pam de Tilla and Sandy Woolley

The titles are selected by Library Manager Kristine Tardiff and Sandy Woolley; some come from suggestions by patrons as well. But Sandy and Kristine read each book before choosing it. The book must be available in paperback. By design, there is a mixture of fiction and nonfiction, lighter fare and meatier titles. They look for books which have a special quality that just make you want to talk about them. Sandy said she reads an average of 20 books for each single title selected for a book set! Sandy also does all the research and compiles all the supplemental materials. So what’s popular? Pam says titles come and go in popularity, but Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, one of the original eleven titles, remains a popular choice. What doesn’t get checked out as often? Books that people aren’t familiar with–The Pearl Diver might be an example of an excellent read that is chosen less often. If a title isn’t requested for a year, it may be “retired”–sent to another county library.

The BCB sets are checked out from the Reference desk on the 2nd floor of the SLO Library. One of the unexpected surprises that Pam de Tilla, Reference and Adult Services Coordinator, reports is that they enjoy meeting patrons who love reading and enjoy discussing a bit about the books. At the desk, a lot of book clubs ask for suggestions, and so they have developed an annotated list to help select a book with which they may not be familiar. Who are these book groups? Men and women of all ages. A partial list includes church groups, teachers, a group from the Senior Center, and three groups from The Villages.

Want to start your own book group? Here’s a recipe from Sandy Woolley:

  1. Choose a friend.
  2. Each of you invite two or three people.
  3. Voila! You’ve got a book group!

And BCB takes the pressure off. No one needs to be an authority or do hours of research. That’s all been done for you. You can just enjoy reading the book and getting together to discuss it. Have fun!

To check out a BCB a patron must have a County Black Gold Library Card. The books must be picked up on the 2nd floor at the desk. They can be reserved in advance over the phone (805) 781-5989 or in person at the 2nd floor Reference Desk. Because the program is so popular, it is a good idea to reserve them in advance if your group is planning for a certain title.

For other requirements, or a complete list of titles, you can visit the Friends website at and look under Programs.

“I can’t imagine losing it. It’s been one of the most popular programs since I’ve been here,” said Pam de Tilla.

New Bookmarks

Check out our new bookmarks available at various locations in the SLO Library. These bookmarks are made of a heavy, coated paper stock and should last you a long time. They also list our website and some of the activities sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Feel free to pass some on to your book reading friends.

DVD Rentals

Missed that new movie when it was in town?  It’s the beginning of award season so come to the SLO library and check out our new DVD rental collection.  The best part is it’s only $2.00 a week and there are no holds. Some of the newest titles that we have available include:

  • Beasts of the Southern Wild,
  • Arbitrage,
  • Masterpiece Theater: Downton Abbey – Season 3,
  • Hotel Transylvania,
  • Seven Psychopaths,
  • End of Watch,
  • Looper,
  • Trouble With the Curve,
  • Ted,
  • The Bourne Legacy,
  • Dark Knight Rises and
  • Ice Age Continental Drift.

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