Website        Programs         Bookstore         Membership         Contact Us         Donate
Winter 2017
Silicon Valley Reads Author in Los Gatos

Adam Benforado, author of
Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice , will speak Tuesday, March 21 at noon at Los Gatos Lodge, 50 Saratoga Los Gatos Rd., as part of Silicon Valley Reads which this year focuses on bias and social justice. This is a special meeting of the Los Gatos Rotary Club, co-sponsored by Frie
nds of Los Gatos Library. Cost is $20 for a buffet lunch or $5 beverage service only, and 
Photo by Joe Craig
payment  must be made by credit card at  entry to the event. Reservations are required for non-Rotary members; email 

Benforado, a professor of law in the Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University, argues in his award-winning book that the roots of injustice in our judicial system lie within each of us.

He makes the case that our system of justice is fundamentally broken because of unconscious bias. New research has shown that many factors other than evidence, reasoning and lawyer's arguments determine whether cases are won or lost. As the Silicon Valley Reads website states: "[Cases] may in fact, turn on the camera angle of a defendant's taped confession, the number of photos in a mug shot book, or a simple word choice during a cross-examination....

"Over the last two decades, psychologists and neuroscientists have uncovered many cognitive forces that operate beyond our conscious awareness. Until we address these hidden biases head-on, Benforado argues, the social inequality we see now will only widen, as powerful players and institutions find ways to exploit the weaknesses of our legal system."

Benforado earned his undergraduate degree in history from Yale University and he graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2005. He has taught at Drexel University since 2008. 

The other 2017 Silicon Valley Reads books are Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison by Shaka Senghor, and, for children, About Bear and Bee by Sergio Ruzzio, and Black and White and Rikers High, both by Paul Volpani.

This year's Silicon Valley Reads kickoff event will feature Mercury News columnist Sal Pizarro interviewing Benforado onstage at the Visual & Performing Arts Center at De Anza College in Cupertino on Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. No tickets or reservations are required. 

Silicon Valley Reads is an annual community program that selects books focused on a contemporary theme and offers events throughout Santa Clara County to engage the public in reading, thinking and discussing the topic. Its goals are to encourage the love of reading and learning and to have a welcoming forum where our diverse community can come together to share different perspectives.

For a complete listing of author appearances and other events, see the Silicon Valley Reads website.
Details Below
From Our President
by Alyce Parsons,  president

"No individual builds anything worthwhile by his/her efforts alone." ~ Lloyd Noble

Dear Friends,

Happy new year to all the Friends of Los Gatos Library-and thank you for your participation. We are building together! Our town-wide mailing in the fall was very successful, and we are still getting new members for 2017. And the
Once in a Generation capital-campaign pledges for the building of the library are almost 100 percent paid off. Our community continues to support our beautiful library. Thank you!

You're invited to participate in the fifth-anniversary celebration of our "new" building on Feb. 11, from 1-4 p.m. in the library. Everyone is welcome, and we extend a special invitation to our donors and members. While you're at the party, be sure to visit our family-friendly bookstore in the children's room of the old library. As you know, all the books are donated by the community, and the bookstore is 100 percent staffed by volunteers. Marlene Rodman, our bookstore director, does a wonderful job of organizing our team of dedicated volunteers.

Your contributions to the Friends can be seen in action this February when the library launches "Lend a Laptop," which the Friends are partially funding. In this innovative program, library patrons may check out a laptop to use on the premises. 

Mark your calendars for March 21 at noon at Los Gatos Lodge. The Friends and the Los Gatos Rotary will host a joint event featuring Silicon Valley Reads author Adam Benforado who will discuss his book Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice. 

I want to give a big shout out to our dedicated Friends board members and volunteers, and especially to our supportive Los Gatos community. Without your backing, we alone would not be able to build anything worthwhile, as the Lloyd Noble quotation above makes clear. We so appreciate your generosity and participation.


Silicon Valley Reads, continued from above.

Wha t: Author Adam Benforado

When: March 21, noon

Where: Los Gatos Lodge
50 Saratoga Los Gatos Rd., Los Gatos

Cost: $20 for a buffet lunch or $5 beverage service only. Payment m ust be made by credit card at entry to the event.

Reservations:  Required for non-rotary members; email

Other Information: There will be a brief regular Rotary meeting before the speaker, but people should arrive before the start of the meeting so their arrival is not disruptive.

Director's Report
Dolly Goyal
by Dolly Goyal
The Los Gatos Library is preparing for an exciting year as it celebrates the fifth anniversary of the opening of our new and beautiful building. As we continue to focus on providing quality experiences and services for our patrons and maintaining our purpose of fostering curiosity and community connection, this coming year we are even more diligent in upholding our core library values in providing free access, intellectual freedom, privacy and confidentiality. As a central community gathering place in Los Gatos, we are committed to being a welcoming and inclusive place for all. We are also making strides to help bridge the digital divide, and this year we have introduced a series of one-on-one computer support classes and workshops on a variety of topics, including how to use our databases. As spring approaches, we plan on continuing outreach with the "Chartreuse Caboose" where we can share our library services with our community, issue library cards, offer pop-up storytimes and more. 

Laptops Anytime Service!

A new and major service that the library is launching is our new laptop vending machine. As part of our computer upgrade and with additional funding from the Friends of the Library, the library is purchasing a "Laptops Anytime" vending machine. This automated checkout kiosk will house 12 Dell laptops which can be checked out with a library card for two hours of in-house use. (The library is converting from Apple computers to PCs, which will result in a significant cost savings.) This use of mobile technology will create a more flexible programming space in our Technology Lab and will also provide patrons with an opportunity to find their own comfortable location in the library. 

In This Issue
Slate of Officers 2016-2017

Alyce Parsons 

Vice President   
Georgina Van Horn

Recording Secretary
Celia Bakke

Corresponding Secretary
Georgina Van Horn

Tom Atkinson

Jill Logar

Bookstore Manager
Marlene Rodman

Sorting Room Manager Tom Atkinson

Grants and Appeals
Rita Baum

Mary Martin

Cheryl McKenzie

Parliamentarian/Mailings Dale Hill

President Emeritus
Toni Blackstock

Members At Large:
Renee Munshi 
Louise Roon
Gretchen Bell

Be a Book Family: Heroes

As the new year begins, the library is starting a new 
Be a Book Family (BABF) theme, celebrating "Heroes." Browse our BABF shelf for our favorite stories of community heroes, historical heroes, and of course, superheroes! 

Be A Book Family is a cooperative reading program designed with the goal of helping parents strengthen their children's reading skills by offering a curated collection of books to be read together as a family, and then sharing the literary concepts from the books. Most likely you are a book family already and are familiar with the benefits of raising a reader. Reading strengthens vocabulary, builds empathy, cultivates critical thinking skills and sets your child up for success in school. Reading aloud in the elementary school years will help your children develop a lifelong love of reading. We at Los Gatos Library want to help you build a practice of reading together as a family, a habit that will grow and change throughout your child's life. Be your child's hero-read together!

Four members of the award-winning San José Chamber Orchestra entertained with a spirited performance of holiday music at the annual Friends of the Library member-appreciation event in December. Quartet members included violinists Philip Brezina and Angela Schillace, violist Melinda Rayne and cellist Paul Rhodes. The evening ended with caroling led by Barbara Day Turner, the orchestra's music/director/conductor, and Daniel Hughes, artistic director of The Choral Project, a mixed-voice vocal ensemble.

Teen Room More Popular than Ever
by Jennifer Laredo, library division manager and teen services librarian

Hard as it is to believe, the first semester of school has drawn to a close, after the Finals Week Study Halls in December. We had such a wonderful autumn in the Teen Room, which has been bustling with sounds of students studying, participating in library activities or just hanging out. Between the first day of school and November 2016, we had nearly 6,000 visits from teens in the afterschool hours, hosting as many as 180 teens on our busiest days. We welcomed members of the largest freshman class Los Gatos High School has ever had, as well as returning friends who are now sophomores and juniors. Even with increased traffic, our teens have done a wonderful job of making sure the library is a great spot for everyone in the afternoons.

We've also implemented several new environmental or passive programs for our teens during the busy after-school hours. One day we might be making mini-catapults with Popsicle sticks, and another day you might find a round of Bingo underway. We brought back our "Library on the Lawn" programming and tossed Frisbees, made balloon animals and did chalk drawings on the sidewalk. We've made buttons and magnets, played Pictionary, and recently started offering WiiU video games. We've offered these programs at least once a week since the start of the school year, and sometimes we've had as many as three in one (busy) week. The teens really like these casual programs as they can take a short break from studying for a round of Pictionary or enjoy a video game before they head back to school for their sports practice.

Our community services officer, Jessica Andrews, started her second school year with us and having her return to the Teen Room has been a big part of our success our many teens. She was a great resource for our teens and all of our library patrons. Our students knew and respected Jess, and in a recent survey about library services, they expressed that "Jess is very nice and sweet" and "Jess is the coolest gato in Los Gatos." Jess's time at the library came to a close at the beginning of January, as she completed her undergraduate studies and found new job opportunities that better met her career goals. We have since welcomed Mary Barnett, our on-call library assistant, to take the charge of supporting afternoons in the Teen Room. Mary hails from Arizona and has had prior experience working with teens at the Prescott Valley Public Library.

Friends Collect Final Capital Campaign Pledges

by Toni Blackstock

Five years ago this month we opened our amazing new library. The Town of Los Gatos was able to acquire the funds to construct the building, but it was up to the Friends of the Library to raise the funds for the FF&Es-furniture, fixtures and equipment-$2 million! It was a daunting task for our group of volunteers who were accustomed to raising $20,000 to $30,000 each year for library programs. But WE DID IT-and at the end of 2016 we were proud to 

announce that we've collected the last of our donor pledges that made up that $2 million. At the inception of the campaign we were told to expect that 5 percent of the pledges would be uncollectible, which would amount to $100,000 in this campaign. We are thrilled to report that only $2,750 has been written off, and that's from just two pledges. What a wonderful community we live in!

Young Writers Workshop
Returns on April 29 

by Rita Baum

I n the year 2000, Friends of Los Gatos Library launched a new children's program. Martha Alderson, M.A., award-winning author, and Friends of Los Gatos Library board member, had the desire to inspire and encourage young writers in the Los Gatos area. That year the first Friends of Los Gatos Library Young Writers Workshop was offered. This popular workshop has been held in Los Gatos for 16 years.

In 2011, when Martha Alderson moved from the area, Cheryl McKenzie, who has a master's degree in linguistics and inter-cultural communication from San Jose State University, stepped in to continue this valuable program. On April 29 , Cheryl will once again open the world of character creation and story development to new group of young writers at the Young Writers Workshop to be held at the Los Gatos Adult Recreation Center, 123 East Main St., from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Cheryl writes under the name of C. Lee McKenzie and is a traditionally published author of four young adult novels: Sliding on the Edge (2009), The Princess of Las Pulgas (2010), Double Negative (2014) and Sudden Secrets (2015). She's a hybrid author who also writes for younger readers (middle grade, 8-14) and has published three novels in that category: Alligators Overhead, The Great Time Lock Disaster, and Sign of the Green Dragon.

Friends of the Library are committed to opening the world of writing to the youth of our community. Young workshop participants quickly find that writing is an exhilarating experience, as their imaginations take hold and they learn they have exciting stories to tell.

Friends of the Library will supply all writing materials plus water and cookies at noon. Participants are asked to bring a bag lunch. 

Workshop registration forms will be available on March 1 at the library circulation desk and online at the Friends Website. Completed forms and a check for $15 should be mailed or delivered to Friends of Los Gatos Library, 100 Villa Ave. 95030. Questions?  Please call Friends message line at (408)399-5700.

Get Social With Friends

by Cheryl McKenzie

The Friends of Los Gatos Library values the traditional way of staying in touch with members and others who are interested in being a part of what we do. We mail hard copies of our newsletter three times a year to those who choose not to receive it digitally. We also send personal invitations to events and membership appeals via the postal service. We recognize that receiving something in the mail is always special. 

Still, we must reach out in the media of today, so that we can include more interested people. As most of you know, we have a great website, and it's soon to be "greater" with some minor, but exciting changes. We hope you'll stop by to see us anytime and leave your comments. We love to hear from our supporters.

We're still hard at work building our online social network, so that everyone can receive news of Friends events online as well as in print. If you haven't "friended" us on Facebook, please do. Our page is here:

And if you aren't getting our Twitter messages you can do so very easily. We appreciate re-Tweets and we're very pleased when our Tweets are shown some love. Our name is @friendsoflglib2. 

Bookstore Blooms With  Special Floral Demonstration
by Cheryl McKenzie

A nn Wu, local artist and floral designer, presented a holiday floral demonstration at the 
Friends of Los Gatos Library Bookstore to a standing-room-only crowd. She gave special tips for how to keep your cut flowers fresh and how to put together several different flower arrangements, using not only flowers and greens from your own garden, but fresh fruit easily purchased from your local market.

Her presentation was made special by her reading about loving what you do, being yourself and not worrying how you look or or how others think of you. It was clear that Ann Wu was at one with her art and who she is as a creative person.

Once the arrangements were complete, Ann turned over the auction of each piece to the bookstore manager, Marlene Rodman. All of the arrangements were auctioned and all proceeds went to the Friends.

Look for more such special events at the bookstore!

Friends of Los Gatos Library Bookstore

110 E. Main St., Los Gatos
(located in the former Los Gatos Library next to NUMU)

Noon - 5 p.m.
Tuesday through Sunday

   We welcome your donations. 

Drop them off at the new library (not the bookstore) and get a tax receipt.

The bookstore is an all-volunteer effort. If you are interested in sorting books, doing Amazon sales or staffing the store, please complete an application form which you can pick up in the bookstore.

 Your Friends Dollars at Work

Thanks to the generosity of dues-paying members and the fundraising efforts of the Friends, these are a few of the services the organization is able to provide for the library.

Annual Summer Reading Program for children, ages 0-18, which reaches 1,000 local youngsters and includes entertaining programs, movie nights and music. 

Annual Teen/Tween Summer Reading Club for ages 10-18.

Afterschool and Family Night Programs  which continue year-round programming designed to highlight library services and collections, and build a lifelong group of readers. This includes Be a Book Family, which is launching a new theme, "Heroes," this year.

Special Programs for Babies - Preschoolers offer year-round storytimes with a technology component in order to meet the learning styles of more children. The Friends provides funds for special guests, replacement of toys for the "stay and play" time, and for multiple Storywalk® displays. 

Special programs for tweens which continue existing programs and develop additional programs for those patrons who are too old for children's programming and too young for teen programming: 

Cusack Endowment Early Literacy Collection Enhancement. The Friends provide funds to expand the Easy Reader section of the Children's Collection, which circulates nearly 30,000 books of early-reading materials including phonics, emergent readers, and beginning chapter books annually, setting the foundation for learning to read in preschool, kindergarten, and beyond. 

Special Programs for Teens which include study halls (with refreshments) for teens during finals. (See the article on page 4 to find out more about the Teen Room programs.)

Adult Collections - Bestseller books, DVDs and Bookclub kits. Patrons can find the latest bestsellers and DVDs and check them out right away in this popular special collection which doesn't allow holds on books. Book club kits provide a package of books that can be checked out as a unit. 

Adult Programs/Forums. These funds support the continuation of the morning and evening adult book clubs and other programs throughout the year.

The Chartreuse Caboose. This flashy mobile library that's pulled by an electric bicycle was partly paid for with Friends funds.


Irish Writers Wrap-up

by Mary Ann Cook

Maybe the Friends can't claim any credit, but since the October Los Gatos/Listowel Writer's Festival when the Friends of the Library Bookstore hosted several events, three of the 15 presenters from Ireland have won prestigious awards. Mike Mc Cormack won the UK Goldsmith Award of £25,000 and Irish Book of the Year for his novel
Solar Bones. Jane Clarke won Irish Poem of the Year, and Frank Shouldice, journalist/lawyer, won a Euro Documentary Award. Also, Caroline Bracken was short-listed for a different poetry award.

Organizer Catherine Barry, director/founder of Irish Culture Bay Area, is planning a tribute to Poet Seamus Heaney, hopefully with a member of his family as presenter, for next year's festival.

Visitors and their ex-pat counterparts extolled Los Gatos' hospitality. "Friendly, relaxed and small enough to make any visitor feel welcome," said Jane Clarke. "Atmosphere electric" was artist Bridie Ryan's appraisal. Glitches were small and attendance gratifying for a first-time festival, proclaimed Barry.