A Golden Year for Ventura Friends of the Library

Hear Amada Perez read from her latest book, “Nana’s Big Surprise.”

This is a Golden Year for Ventura Friends of the Library, the dedicated volunteers who help support Ventura’s four branch libraries, (Avenue Library, E.P. Foster Library, Hill Road Library and Saticoy Library), manage the bookshop in E.P. Foster Library and organize regular book sales to raise funds for the libraries’ various requirements, from books, to furniture, computers and new creative programs.

The active non-profit group will celebrate its 50th Anniversary with a quartet of festive events through the year, beginning with a kick off birthday party on Saturday March 2 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at the Adult Center, 550 N Ventura Avenue, and continuing at the nearby Avenue Library at 606 N. Ventura Avenue. The actual library is an appropriate venue for this landmark historic library event. The red brick apartment building Casa de Anza, which houses the library at street level, was built in 1929, and is designated an architectural landmark by the Ventura Historic Preservation Committee.

“We encourage friends and families to join us for a festive afternoon,” says FOL President Mary Olson. “There will be music, refreshments and other surprises.” We invite parents to bring their children to hear best-selling bi-lingual author Amada Perez read from her latest book, “Nana’s Big Surprise.” Noted creative artist Judee Hauer will be on hand to help children create folk art dolls from clothes pins. Inlakech Cultural Arts will add Mariachi music to the festivities.

The second part of the celebration, taking place in Avenue Library itself, includes the awarding of raffle prizes and 50 complimentary signed copies of Amada Perez’ book. Dates have been floated for the other trio of birthday parties: E.P Foster in the summer, Saticoy in September and a grand finale drumroll at Hill Road in October with the popular Harmonix Singers and their artistic director Miriam Arichea.

In 1969, the year FOL was founded, membership totaled 82 and book sales amounted to $470. Over the past decade, Ventura Friends of the Library has contributed more than a million dollars to Ventura’s libraries, including $200,700 contributed to the opening of the Hill Road branch in 2018. Surely a local success story and a notable achievement in the field of education and communication.

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