The Bookmark About Libraries and Friends
by Jill Forman
“Noon Year’s Eve” – Special online Storytime and party for those who can’t stay up until midnight. There will be party kits available at Foster and Hill Road, the week of New Year’s, during normal book pick-up times. For information check it out at: https://vencolibrary.org/events/noon-years-eve-celebration
Speaking of online activities for families, in January there will be Discover Science. Sounds great, I want to do it! Here’s that link: https://vencolibrary.org/events/virtual-discover-science-0
As for the year-end wrap up, what can you say about 2020?
Ventura’s libraries have come through for our community in many ways. This column has described the hard work and innovations that have turned the libraries’ online services into a vibrant presence for everyone.
The Ventura Friends of the Library (FOL) have also put an amazing amount of work and flexibility into serving the community and the library while remaining COVID-19 safe. Normally the Friends earn funds for library programs and equipment mostly with in-person sales: intermittent large sales, the bookstore at Foster, and the shelves at Hill Road. With the closure of these venues, FOL Board members had to come up with completely novel methods of selling books.
Amazon sales are handled by Teddy Wood who is an expert at knowing what books are saleable and their value. Leslie Bellmore, a new Board member, researched what other libraries are doing and started an online bookstore with local pickup. We had one regular sale in February and managed to squeeze one in at the Foster Parking Lot in October with COVID-19 safeguards.
Memberships, donations and grants have also contributed to the total assets.
Thanks to all these ways and means, the Friends’ total gift to the libraries, in a year in which we could have just given up, is $54,000! The FOL also has a Capitol Improvement Fund dedicated to building a future permanent East End library, so money funnels to that also.
For end-of-year giving, FOL treasurer Kathy Thomson requests that the public consider donating to the Endowment Fund, which gives back to the libraries every year. $23,000 of the FOL funds this year came from dividends from our Endowment Fund. Thomson explains, “The Ventura Friends of the Library opened an Endowment Fund with the Ventura County Community Foundation in 1999 in order to create a continuous source of funding for Ventura’s libraries. Over the years the fund has grown and continues to provide increasing returns which in turn are gifted to the Ventura County Library System for use in the city of Ventura. Any contributions made to the Endowment Fund will enhance and benefit library services for years to come.”
To give, either write Endowment on a check or send an email with your donation that it is for the Endowment Fund.
Thank you to all the citizens of Ventura for your support in 2020!