The Bookmark About Libraries and Friends

by Jill Forman

Summer Reading Program!

The theme of the Reading Challenge this summer is “Read Beyond the Beaten Path.” The dates are May 14- August 14. There is a category for adults and one for children up to 18. Go to, register, log reading minutes or books, complete activities, earn badges, and become eligible for prizes. What a great addition to a family’s summer activities!

Final Bookmark Column

Your intrepid reporter is taking a break. This has been fun to write, and of course I love publicizing our wonderful library system and the devoted Friends group that works so hard to support Ventura’s libraries.

Time to remind you of how you too can help make the libraries a stronger part of the community:

Join the Friends of the Library. Every penny they make goes straight to library supplies and books, events and programs.

Volunteer. Both the libraries and the Friends of the Library can use volunteers. Whatever your skills or interests, there is something for you to do.

Find out what is happening at your local library, attend events and lectures. From reading to dogs, craft projects, Minecraft, poetry groups, book groups, concerts, author talks, story times – something for everyone, open to the public, and FREE. Check your local newspapers, talk to your library staff, or go to and check on the Events tab.

Get involved. Let your local politicians and leaders know that you care about libraries and want them supported.

Closing words

Written not by me, but by some great thinkers who are fans of libraries:

Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life. Libraries change lives for the better. —Sidney Sheldon

Libraries are a cornerstone of democracy—where information is free and equally available to everyone. People tend to take that for granted, and they don’t realize what is at stake when that is put at risk.—Carla Hayden

Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation. —Walter Cronkite

My real education…I got out of the public library. For an impoverished child whose family could not afford to buy books, the library was the open door to wonder and achievement, and I can never be sufficiently grateful that I had the wit to charge through that door and make the most of it. Now, when I read constantly about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that the door is closing and that American society has found one more way to destroy itself. —Isaac Asimov

Libraries are a pillar of any society. I believe our lack of attention to funding and caring for them properly in the United States has a direct bearing on problems of literacy, productivity, and our inability to compete in today’s world. Libraries are everyman’s free university. —John Jakes

Public libraries are the sole community centers left in America. The degree to which a branch of the local library is connected to the larger culture is a reflection of the degree to which the community itself is connected to the larger culture. —Russell Banks

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