The Bookmark About Libraries and Friends

by Jill Forman

Dang, what a year!

The Ventura Friends of the Library, along with the rest of the world, has had an eventful and challenging year. We started off shut down due to COVID with no libraries, bookstore, book sales or our usual occupations and sources of generating funds for the libraries. But we were not idle. We had started an online store; the warehouse changed its staffing to comply with county COVID protocols and continued to process donations.

Some of us made it our mission to stock the Little Free Libraries around town. Folks were frequently leaving boxes of books on my front porch, since they couldn’t get into the libraries to donate; these went into LFL’s in my neighborhood, at the parks, and so on.

Speaking of donations, people apparently used their at-home time to sort through their books and divest themselves of ones they no longer wanted. As a result, our warehouse was overwhelmed. Luckily, many bookstore volunteers switched over to helping out as book sorters and pricers.

We were able to have a parking lot sale at Foster Library, with all COVID precautions adhered to. And later on, a sale at the Topping Room.

When volunteers could get into the libraries again, we moved the Foster Bookstore to a larger and more open area on the first place of Foster Library. This was a giant effort by many volunteers, spouses, and library staff. This new space has been a success with patrons and volunteers alike.

The Friends of the Library book sale shelves at the Hill Road Library were also restocked and ready for booklovers to find more bargains by the time the libraries reopened.

As a result of all these efforts, the Friends will be able to donate a substantial amount to the libraries for services and supplies despite the obstacles of this unprecedented year. Exact figures will be released after the end of the fiscal year.

And the citizens of our community have had access to books!

Library updates from Dolly
The Minecraft server continues to be used by steady gamers. Discover Science, Storytime (held out of doors), Minecraft Monthly (began in person in November,) and the Mobile Library are all currently active and well received. The Mobile Career Center is actively helping at libraries and the Mac van has its own computers.
The County Library System has applied for a $100,000 grant from the State Library for the Mobile Career Center.

Book clubs

Hill Road – last Tuesday of each month at 5 p.m.

January’s book: The Good Lord Bird by James McBride

Foster – January 8 at 10 a.m.

January’s book: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

From Leslie Bellmore, Online Sales manager

Online bookstore continues to offer quality books at great prices, with easy browsing.

Volunteers wanted

The warehouse needs sorters and pricers Fridays 9-11.

The bookstore needs helpers, varied dates and shifts.

Email: bookstore@venturafriendsofthelibrary.org

Tentative date for next book sale

Saturday January 22, 2022. No location or time available yet. But mark your calendars to come buy books – or better yet, volunteer!

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