As the old song says, “I get by with a little help from my friends”. It was 1953 when a few visionaries recognized that even a library needs a friend and so began the Friends of the Sierra Madre Library. From that modest beginning, we have grown to an organization of over 300 members whose bylaws state that “The purpose of the Friends of the Sierra Madre Library is to promote awareness of, support for, and utilization of the high quality programs, services, and facilities of the Sierra Madre Library as a lifelong center of learning.” To that end volunteers provide countless hours working both inside the library and on the grounds of the library supporting the library staff and landscaping the Friends Garden. We organize the Best Used Book Sales, the annual Wine and Cuisine Tasting, and the spring Art Fair to raise money to augment that which the city is able to provide to the library. Do you or any of the members of your family use audio books, AV equipment, the computers, large print books, Spanish books, or reference books? Many of these were purchased using funds raised by the Friends of the Sierra Madre Library. Have you or any of the members of your family attended the preschool story hour, participated in the summer reading clubs, enjoyed a presentation of the travelers and collectors series, or attended a class at the library? These are just some of the programs supported by funds raised by the Friends.
So, how can you be part of this vital volunteer organization? And what can you do to help? Applications for membership can be found here or you can contact membership chair Dave Hart at (626) 446-8209. Getting involved is as easy as giving a call to the chair of one of our events. Our Best Used Book Sales are held every other month (the next two are in October and December) and co-chairs Martha Troedson (355-0650) and Alan Leahy (355-9783) can always use help evaluating, sorting, pricing, and selling the huge number of books that are culled from our library’s shelves or donated. And just think–you’ll get a first look at the high quality books we have for sale. Those of you who have attended the Friends of the Sierra Madre Library’s annual Wine and Cuisine Tasting know what an elegant and fun event it is, and if you’re like me, you’ve often thought of how much work must go into planning and pulling off such a large affair in an apparently seamless fashion. This year’s chair, Sue Levoe (355-3236), says that planning began in August and that volunteers are needed for ticket sales, publicity, acting as hosts that evening, working with the high school volunteers, setting up, cleaning up, contacting the restaurants that participate, and, most especially, soliciting items for the silent auction. She’d love to hear how you’d like to help as would Alison Snow (355-1544), chair of this year’s Friends of the Sierra Madre Library Art Fair. Art Fair volunteers are needed for the exhibits, food, entertainment (music), and publicity committees. During the Art Fair weekend volunteers act as hosts and hostesses, work at the Friends booth, and bake bread for and work at the Friends Food Booth and people are needed to find volunteers and co-ordinate these volunteers efforts. Alison would especially like help on the entertainment committee finding musicians to play at the Art Fair throughout the weekend.
As you can see, whatever your interests and wherever your talents lie, you’re sure to find your niche as a Friend of the Sierra Madre Library. Remember, studies have shown that folks who volunteer and who have a wide social network live the longest. So what are you waiting for? As a Friend you’ll be helping our library and meeting many like-minded volunteers, two great ways to prolong your life while having lots of fun.