The Bookmark About Libraries and Friends

by Jill Forman

Since this is February, it occurs to me that this column is basically a Valentine to libraries and the Ventura Friends of the Library. In case you’re not sure about the organization and function of the Friends groups, here’s some background:

From Wikipedia: Friends of Libraries are non-profit, charitable groups formed to support libraries in their communities. Support from the Friends groups may be financial, political and cultural. Groups are separate from the libraries they support and made up of volunteers.

Friends groups in the United Kingdom trace their origins back to the Elizabethan Period. The first group that named itself “Friends of the Library” in the United States, was founded in 1922 in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

The Ventura Friends celebrated their 50th Anniversary in 2019 with a large party at the Hill Road branch. At the time they were feeling pretty good about their organization, not knowing the huge challenges that were ahead in 2020!

A good quote from Wikipedia is “Friends of Libraries are adaptable groups that fit the needs of the communities and the libraries they support.” In other words, they do what they have to do. In this past year that has proven true for sure! With most of our normal funding sources cut off, with our warehouse shut down until leadership figured out how to be COVID-safe, with volunteers staying home, we still managed to pivot our activities and keep the Friends group vibrant and able to support our community libraries.

To join, donate, volunteer, or see more library events,

Let’s look at what the libraries are up to.

For youth, Phillip Yocham and his Youth Services team are doing another Discover Science at the end of the month:

Minecraft Mondays continue 4-6 p.m. Minecraft Librarian (link sends e-mail).

Globetrotting Storytime Mondays, 10:30 to 11:00 am. Log into the library’s Facebook page for stories and songs with an emphasis on world view.

Friends of the Library Book Discussion will meet via Zoom on the second Saturday of the month from 10:00 am to noon. To join the discussion, please contact Emma at for the link. March 6: Walking with the Wind by John Lewis.

The Library Services Agency has its own newsletter! I am ashamed to admit I just found this out myself. It’s called “Ventura County Reader: Explore, Discover, Connect. Your Resource for Happenings at the Ventura County Library.” It can be found at home page, under the “Your Library at Home” banner, in quite small print. Lots of interesting articles.

READ tutors will continue to meet remotely with their learners for the duration of this pandemic, via telephone, mail, or internet conferencing sites. Special materials, designed to use on computer platforms, have been purchased and will be available from site supervisors in 2021.

New tutor training sessions will begin online in February. If you are interested in becoming a tutor (or want to find a tutor to help you with your reading), call our office at 805-677-7160 or 805-677-7159.

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