The Bookmark About Libraries and Friends

Betsy Blanchard Chess gave a presentation about her book which she calls “My COVID project.”

by Jill Forman


THIS WEEKEND: Saturday November 6, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

E.P. Foster Library, in front of library on Main Street and in the Topping Room. Foster bookstore also open.

Paintings and photographs for sale in foyer of Topping Room.

Bargain books: 3 books for $1.00. OR take home a paper grocery bag of books for $4.00. (Ventura Friends of the Library members get a $1.00/bag discount.)

All genres, lots of kids’ books, large selection of large print.

Warning: Books will not be sorted by category, so you get the fun of looking through all sorts of topics to find those bargain treasures.

Ventura Friends of the Library Annual Meeting

The meeting was held on Sunday October 24 at 2 p.m. in the Topping Room of Foster Library. Over 30 people attended.

President Mary Olsen welcomed the guests and introduced Betsy Blanchard Chess, who gave a presentation about her book Daughter of the Land: Growing Up in the Citrus Capital of the World: A Memoir. The book, which she calls “My COVID project,” is a history of her family and their town, Santa Paula. Chess’ great-grandfather founded the City of Santa Paula in 1873 and co-founded the Limoneira Company there in 1893. Chess was born in Santa Paula and has lived there all her life. In addition to the stories, the book has beautiful photographs of early days and people in the Santa Clara River Valley.

After a Q and A and a lot of folks lining up to buy the book, the business portion of the meeting took place.

Dolly Knight, Senior Ventura City Librarian, gave an update on the status of the libraries, their activities and offerings. For example, there are new computer kits available for checkout, online Halloween kits on the library website, and Storytimes moving to in-person outdoor library locations.

The meeting then proceeded to the Treasurer’s Report. Since the Friends have been able to have book sales, the Foster bookstore and the Hill Road sale shelves are open, and online sales have been strong, we are in a good position financially. Add to those the interest generated by investment accounts, and we will be able to make a substantial contribution to the libraries, as we do every year; the exact amount will be determined after the end of the fiscal year.

Officers for the Friends were then elected: Mary Olson, President; Annie Winch, Treasurer; Ellen Klope, Recording Secretary; Star Soto, Corresponsing Secretary. Slate of officers unanimously approved. The office of Vice President is unfilled.

The Friends of the Library needs more volunteers for many functions: warehouse, bookstore, book sales, board members, and committee members. Any member may attend a board meeting; we have just transitioned from Zoom to in-person meetings which take place monthly. Dates and times can be found on our web page:

Last item was a reminder that dues should be paid by January.

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