by Mary M. Olson

Although Jill Forman has signed off as author of “The Bookmark” column, the Friends of the Library would like to continue with this great opportunity to spread the news about libraries and our organization to our community. First of all, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to Jill for initiating this column and to the Ventura Breeze for support provided over many years for literacy, libraries and San Buenaventura Friends of the Library.

The Summer Reading Program, “Read Beyond the Beaten Path”, is well underway at the library. In addition to logging your summer reading at, opportunities to explore science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) abound. Whenever you visit any library branch, Grab and Go STEAM kits are available to take home.

At E.P. Foster Library (805 648-2716), the Maker Lab is open again Tuesdays, July 19 & 26, 4 to 6 pm. Crafternoon on 2nd & 4th Wednesdays, 3:30 to 5:00 pm offers a structured craft with materials provided and Lego Play is back on every other Friday, 2 to 4 pm, beginning June 17.

At Hill Road Library (805 677-7180) , Maker Camp on most Thursdays, 3:30 to 5 pm offers STEAM projects designed for children 7-18. Children 3 to 7 are invited to explore STEAM through play with their caregivers at Hill Road Library Tuesdays, 10:30 am to noon.

The Summer Reading programs have long been a favorite activity that the Friends of the Library support through our fundraising and making donated books available for rewards in the program.

The Friends’ bookstore in E.P. Foster Library is a great place to pick up your summer beach reads! And our online bookstore for local sales (accessed through a link at our website has added two new categories for the summer: Great Summer Reading and Youth Summer Reading. Audiobooks and puzzles are also available for your road trip or staycation!

We’re also planning another book sale on July 16, 10 am to 3 pm, at the Vons at Telegraph and Victoria. The grocery is a great place to encounter casual shoppers and promote the library and our Friends group. As always, volunteers are needed to set up, work at the sale and take down at the end of the day.

We are always looking for new volunteers – right now we especially need volunteers to help sort and categorize our incoming book donations. We receive a fascinating variety of books and have developed an array of in-person and online outlets to get those books into the hands of readers. Many volunteers are required to make the best use of the donations we receive. If this piques your interest, please contact us.

Please email [email protected] if you’d like to help!

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