San Luis Obispo Friends of the Library

Supporting the SLO Library, its community and the SLO Community

Winter 2014


From the President

Ken head shot

Happy 2014 everyone. This New Year will see the Friends Board continue our efforts to increase our visibility in the community. I am pleased to announce, beginning with the second Tuesday in January, and continuing with the second Tuesdays of each month, the Friends Board will have a table in the library by the t.v. monitor and newly built cabinet. We will be staffing the table the second Tuesday of every month, selling low cost books as well as answering questions and providing any help we can. Please stop by and say hello if you have the opportunity.

Also, you will note in the newsletter that we have a message from the new Director of our SLO Library, Kay Rader. We are delighted Kay has joined us in this leadership position. Kay is very approachable and committed to ensuring quality services to all. She has a very strong background in her field and is a very dedicated professional.

Lastly, the Friends Board has openings and I would encourage anyone who wants to get more involved and be part of a Board with dedicated, collegial members, to contact myself or one of the other Board members. Our meetings are the first Tuesday of every month, from 11:30am- 1pm in the library. Please feel free to come and check us out.

Wishing everyone a wonderful New Year.

Ken Barclay


Membership Renewal

It is that time of year for renewal of your SLO Friends of the Library membership. Remember, to be able to attend the first night of the 35th Annual Book Sale, you will need to have already renewed your membership or wait in that long line to get / renew a your membership.

If you have paid your membership after October 1, 2013, you are considered renewed for 2014 and can attend the Book Sale first night. Any payments prior to October 1, 2013 are applied to your 2013 membership or considered a donation.See the article below on how to renew your membership on-line on our website.

Library News – New Faces

IMG_8023Many new staff changes with the SLO County Library system.  First of all, as noted earlier on the website, Chris Barnickel was selected as the County Library Director replacing the retired Brian Reynolds.

Second, Kay Rader has been named a Regional Director with direct responsibility for the SLO Library.  Kay replaces Kristine who left earlier this year.  Learn more about Kay here.

We look forward to working directly with Kay and Chris in their new roles.

Also new at the Library are Kimberly Velasquez and Ann Marie O’Connor, both in the Circulation Department.

Kimberly Velasquez previously worked for the Santa Maria Public Library and for 8 years at the Orcutt Library as an Assistant Clerk on the circulation desk.  Kimberly’s hobbies include baking, cake decorating, sewing and painting.  She is an avid music lover, enjoying many types of music.

Ann Marie O’Connor has been with the SLO Library Branch since August 2013. Ann Marie particularly loves working with “book” people and enjoys reading.  Her primary avocations are yoga, art and loving the 4-leggeds that live in her home, and is interested in learning how to surf.

New folks photo 001 revised

Kimberly, Kay and Ann Marie


35th Annual Book Sale March 6 – 8, 2014


Paul Murphy – Chair, Book Sale

The size of the Sale will be smaller this year but still quite substantial: over 5,000 audiovisual items and over 15,000 books. Once again, there are especially large numbers of books in the following categories: children’s, art, literature, history, cooking, and health.

Because of the size and quality of the children’s collection, we especially encourage parents and teachers to consider these books (which are the best bargain at the Sale).

Please see Bill Cochran’s article (below) which describes a few of the many high quality Special Price books.

We always need more book donations and volunteers. The success of the Sale depends on generous donors and enthusiastic volunteers. This winning combination has been responsible for raising over $100,000 for the Library in just the past 8 years.   We also ask every member of the Friends of the Library to promote the Sale among family and friends.

If you would like to volunteer or donate, contact Paul Murphy at 544-3033.

Book Sale Schedule:

Thursday, March 6: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
(Members only with memberships sold at the door)
Friday, March 7: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday, March 8: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Veterans Memorial Building, 801 Grand Avenue, San Luis Obispo, CA
(near corner of Grand and Monterey)

Library Manager’s Update

IMG_5200 (Large)

Library Wins Award in SLO Holiday Parade
The SLO Library’s entry in the parade, “You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Antlers,” won the award for most creative entry in the 38th Annual San Luis Obispo Holiday Parade. Staff, volunteer and Friends enthusiastically marched in the parade wearing antlers, riding bicycles, pushing decorated book carts, and promoting library services.

Animals Alive @ The SLO LibraryIMG_3202
Over 400 attended the first 3 of 6 programs made possible through a grant from the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust awarded to the SLO Friends of the Library and the SLO Library.
These programs support science literacy and feature live animals. Funds from the grant allowed the library to update the science collections, including audiovisual materials, and adult and children’s books.IMG_3185

Friends Gifts Enhance Library
The Friends of the Library provided funds to purchase a portable P.A. system. The system will be used for programs such as movie nights, poetry readings and children’s concerts. The Friends have also provided funds to start al Blu-ray DVD collection. Blu-ray brings three major improvements over DVD: better image quality, better sound quality and more special features.

Teddy Bear Tea

Princess Belle at the Teddy Bear Tea

Teddy Bear Tea
The 9th Annual Teddy Bear Tea attracted over 80 participants on Saturday, December 14. The event featured a surprise visit by Princess Belle and the popular Teddy Bear Parade through the library.

Highlights of Upcoming Events

Adult Winter Reading Program

“Hot Reads for Cold Nights California Style!” is the theme of this year’s Adult Winter Reading Program, January 15th to April 15th. Read 9 books and receive prizes and surprises.

The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter


  • Saturday, March 8, 1:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 22, 1:30 p.m.

Celebrate National Women’s History Month by joining us for this special program, featuring:

  • The award-winning documentary “The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter.”
  • Sharing stories! We invite you to share your own personal “Rosie” stories.
  • Displays and information about Rosie the Riveter, women during WWII and Women’s History Month.


Celebrate National Poetry Month!
Join us for a month long celebration in April:

  • Poetry programs for children and teens.
  • 2nd Annual Poetry Peeps Diorama Competition.
  • Poetry and open mic programs.
  • Poem in your pocket: Pick little poetry scrolls from the poetry baskets.
  • Listen to a poem every afternoon, read by staff and friends.
  • Displays of poetry books and guides.

Explore Your Electronic Library!
Open to All Ages.
Saturday, May 10, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Learn about the world of electronic databases:

Book Lovers’ Delight – Enter the world of books and authors to find what to read next, information about authors and book discussion guides, and how to download books.
Read All About It!  – Magazine and newspaper database lets you read hundreds of magazines and newspapers from your own home!
Exploring World Cultures  – Travel lovers, history buffs and culture vultures will enjoy using Global Road Warrior.
For Kids  – Learn about databases to help you with your homework or to have fun with stories e-books and games.

Kay Rader
Regional Librarian for Coastal Libraries

Annual Book Sale: Special Books by Bill Cochran

Once again rare, unusual and collectible books have appeared among books donated to the Friends of the Library for the annual sale.  Searching for such treasures adds to the enjoyment of the sale, and this year’s special finds include a copy of the off-putting title Executive Document No. 41 of the Thirtieth Congress (1848) of the United States, which is actually Notes of a Military Reconnaissance, from Fort Leavenworth, in Missouri to San Diego, in California, Including Part of the Arkansas, Del Norte, and Gila Rivers, by William H. Emory. It is title #33 in the Zamorano Eighty list of the most significant early volumes published on the history of California: “A library of Western Americana is incomplete without it.” Emory was part of the advance guard of Kearny’s Army of the West, and his report became an essential reference for those heading for California in the Gold Rush. This volume, while lacking the front and rear boards, is notable for its inclusion of the large number of plates, often found incomplete in other copies.

Other interesting and unusual Americana include Little World Waddies, a collection (1946) of short stories and poems by Eugene Manlove Rhodes, with an introduction by J. Frank Dobie; Adventures in Mexico and the Rocky Mountains by George Ruxton; Doniphan’s Expedition: War with Mexico, 1846-1847 and the Conquest of New Mexico and California (1907) by William Connelley; Camp-Fires on Desert and Lava (1908) by William Hornaday; Winter in Taos (1935) by Mabel Dodge Luhan; and the two-volume The Old Northwest, Pioneer Period: 1815-1840 by R. C. Buley, inscribed by the author.

More international in scope is Henri Cartier-Bresson’s From One China to the Other, a first-hand description with 144 photographs of the events in China in 1946-1949, including the withdrawal of the Nationalist government.

Collectors of children’s books will find the 1926 edition of Uncle Wiggily on Sugar Island by Howard Garis and illustrated by Lansing Campbell; Bonny Prince: The Autobiography of a Collie Dog by Marion Sewell; Little People of the Snow, a story of Eskimo life by Mary Muller; and the very special first edition (1903) of Darby O’Gill and the Good People by Herminie Templeton Kavanagh, the basis of the Disney movie which gave Sean Connery his start as a leading man. Related to children’s books is the early The Art of Walt Disney (1942) by Robert Field, containing many period illustrations. Of interest to collectors of folklore and history as well as of children’s books is a first edition of The Book of Hallowe’en (1919) by Ruth E. Kelley, considered “the all time classic exploration of Halloween.”

Art books are always popular at the sale, and this year include the titles From this earth: The ancient art of Pueblo pottery; Michelangelo and Raphael in the Vatican: with Botticelli, Perugio, Signorelli, Ghirlandaio, and Rosselli; Charles Warren Eaton (1857-1937): an American Tonalist Rediscovered; Traces of the Brush: The Art of Japanese Calligraphy; Claes Oldenburg: An Anthology; Manuel Neri: A Sculptor’s Drawings; LA PLAISIR, Musee d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris 17 octobre 2008 – 11 janvier 2009; Edmuld Dulac; and THE WONDROUS SCENE: Early Engravings, Drawings, Paintings & Photographs of Glacier Bay National Monument, Alaska.

Other finds include a handsome copy of Le Morte Darthur: The History of King Arthur and his Noble Knights of the Round Table, published by the Medici Society (1927), with 11 pages of color plates by Russell Flint; and The Strike at Shane’s – A Sequel to Black Beauty, published anonymously in 1893 by the American Humane Education Society but suspected to be the first edition of Gene Stratton-Porter’s first book. Not to leave out the scientists, there is the useful comprehensive reference, the Historical Atlas of Crystallography. Genealogists will want Volume II of the Ninth U.S. Census, The Vital Statistics of the United States, Embracing the Tables of Deaths, Births, Sex, and Age, to Which Are Added the Statistics of the Blind, the Deaf and Dumb, the Insane, and the Idiotic.

See? Something for everyone!

Volunteers Needed

We are continually looking for volunteers to help the Friends of the Library in our activities to support the SLO Library. Late last year we conducted a Volunteer Faire where we met with several individuals who were interested in helping us. We are hoping to recruit more volunteers to help us grow our contributions to the SLO Library and its community.Check our website menu item , Help Us | Volunteering | Volunteer Needs, for more details on the opportunities available.

Membership Campaign

Our annual membership campaign will be conducted during the first quarter of 2014. As part of the campaign we will be conducting outreach activities to spread the word about the SLO Friends of the Library and the benefits the Friends bring to the SLO Library, its community and the SLO community.If you belong to a community organization, group, club or living group where we could make a short presentation about the Friends, please contact us at

New DVDs

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 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 Blue Jasmine, Fruitvale Station, Captain Phillips, The Way Way Back, Despicable Me 2, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Rush, Riddick and Masterpiece Theater: Downton Abbey – Season 4.

Renew Membership On-line

Just a reminder that you can renew your SLO Friends of the Library membership on-line on our website using your credit card or PayPal account. Click on the menu item, Help Us | Join. Then choose the appropriate membership level, click on the Pay Now button for that membership level and follow the instructions.
Join FOL screen capture
Not only can you use your credit card for renewal, but you can also set up a subscription where your credit card will be used to pay your renewal automatically each year. To use this feature, click on the Subscribe button instead.

Kiwanis Donates to In-School Reading Program

IMG_2911The Kiwanis Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa made a $630 donation to support the SLO Friends of the Library In-School Reading Program. “This money will go directly to purchase books for the children in the Friends In-School Reading program” said Dr. Richard Riggins, Secretary of the Kiwanis.

The reading program began four years ago initiated at Hawthorne Elementary School by the Friends board of directors. According to Linda Thompson, program coordinator, “Program volunteers work in the classroom with individual students to help them improve their reading skills. At the end of the school year, all students in those classrooms receive books selected by their teachers to take home with them.” The capstone awarding of books helps to reinforce the yearlong effort as the students head home for the summer.

“The program has been very successful” said Ken Barclay, the Friends president. “According to school officials, reading scores have been significantly improved for those participating in the program. We feel proud to be involved in a program that helps students become more avid readers and future Library patrons.”

“We are thankful to the Kiwanis Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa for their generous donation,” said Sally Hillis, board member. “And we continue to appreciate the efforts of the volunteers who really make this program successful.”

Pictured are Ken Barclay, President, SLO Friends of the Library; Dr. Richard Riggins, Secretary, Kiwanis Club; Linda Thompson, Friends board member and program coordinator; and Sally Hillis, Friends board member and program volunteer.

New Friends Counter in Library

A new counter has been placed near the entrance to the SLO Library for use of the SLO Friends of the Library. “This counter and the area around it will be reserved for information about the SLO Friends of the Library”, according to Lanny Hernandez, Communications Chair of the Friends. “We have wanted an area in the Library that was uniquely identified with the Friends; where visitors can find the latest information about the activities of the Friends and how they can help the Friends help the SLO Library”.


Keith Smith working on the project

The counter cabinet has been placed just to the left of the entrance to the Library. The initial use of this area began earlier this year when the Friends placed a TV monitor there programmed with information about Library activities, SLO Friends of the Library activities and upcoming Library events.

“I was very happy to design and build this piece of furniture for the Friends and the Library” said Keith Smith local San Luis Obispo retiree. Keith volunteered several days of his time and the use of his cabinet making equipment for the project.

“It is the donations and efforts of volunteers like Keith that allow the SLO Friends of the Library to contribute money, books and media and time to the Library”, stated Ken Barclay, SLO Friends president. “We would like to do more for the SLO Library, its community and the SLO community. We just need more members to join, donate and volunteer.”
“Keep watching this area as we continue to grow our support for the Library”, said Hernandez.

Pictured above are SLO Friends of the Library board members, Sally Hillis, Ken Barclay ( President) and Linda Thompson.

Book Club in a Box

Our SLO Library continues to have about forty boxes with ten books of each title and a packet with discussion questions and background information about the book and author for each. These sets may be checked out for six weeks at a time. There are waiting lists for many of the sets, so if you decide on one, ask the librarians at the research desk on the second floor if that set is available. You may sign up for one several months ahead to insure getting the book of your choice.Our newest titles are Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman, Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Pope Joan by Donna Cross, and Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dick. A set is on order for Orphan Train by Christina Kline.

Don’t forget that there are also some excellent classic sets, such as Angle of Repose, Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Ask our reference librarians about some titles that other groups have enjoyed discussing, such as Housekeeper and the Professor,  Manhunt: The Twelve-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer,  When the Emperor Was Divine, and Please Look After Mom. These may be books that aren’t familiar to many, but groups have enjoyed them.

We will continue to add several books each year, and we are so pleased that this program has been such a success with book clubs.  These sets are funded by the SLO Friends of the Library.

Printed Newsletter

As we mentioned in the last newsletter, we plan to phase out mailed newsletters and take advantage of electronic delivery of the newsletters to help reduce our costs of printing and mailing. This newsletter will be the last one we automatically mail to everyone. However, some printed newsletters will be available in the Library at our new counter near the entrance.

If we have your email address, we will send you email notification about availability of the newsletter online on our website. If you have access to a computer and we do not have your email address, please send an email to with Newsletter as the subject so that we can add your email address to our notification list.

If you do not have access to a computer and still wish to receive a printed copy, please send your name and address to SLO Friends of the Library, P.O. Box 1135, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406. Please include a request for a mailed newsletter.

SLO Library Book Club

The SLO Library Book Club is open to any interested adult. We meet on the third floor of the SLO City-County Library on Palm from 10:30 a.m. to noon on the second Wednesday of each month. Each year we try to include some contemporary fiction, one or two classics, some nonfiction books, and one that is the Book of the Year for Cuesta College. We make certain that all the books on or list are available through our library system, where they can be requested, or available in paperback at Amazon or a local bookstore.

A different volunteer chairs each meeting. We usually have about twenty people attend each time; some come every month and some come only occasionally. Some like to comment on the books and others like to listen to the discussion without speaking. We often have people come who have not read the book but are considering reading it and would like to hear the discussion.

Reading lists for 2014 are available at the front desk. For February our book is Defending Jacob by William Landay, March is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, and of course there are other interesting books through the year.

We welcome you to come and join us.IMG_0919

SLO Friends of the Library Annual Luncheon


Last year’s guest speaker, Leigh Rubin

The San Luis Obispo Friends of the Library Annual Luncheon will be held on May 1, 2014. We look forward to seeing you there, so please mark your calendars for that date.

Information about the speaker and the venue will be available on the website in March. You will be able to make your reservations on the website this year. will be updated as more information is available. You can also check the monitor in the library closer to the date.






In-school Reading Program

The reading program at Hawthorne is well underway. We have about 18 volunteers going into the classrooms and working with students. I am hearing lots of good things from the volunteers about how much they enjoy working with the students. We are very grateful for the volunteers, who make this program such a success!We were very honored to receive a generous donation from the Kiwanis Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa to help purchase books this spring for the children to take home with them at the end of the school year (See the article above on the Kiwanis donation). We feel the books are a very essential part of the program.

If you are interested in this terrific program, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Linda Thompson (

SLO Friends of the Library Board of Directors – 2013/2014

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



Click here to download a pdf file version of the newsletter.