News from the Berkeley Public  Library Foundation                                  April 2015
Dear Library Lovers,


Happy Spring! Longer days, blooms galore, and more great books and programs all happening at the Berkeley Public Library. Come celebrate National Library Week with its theme "Unlimited Possibilities @ your Library."  April is also poetry month, check out Varda One's featured poem and plan to attend the readings at the North Branch from local poets. 


The Foundation launches its Spring Fundraising Appeal in a few weeks. Look for a letter from Moosewood cookbook author and library supporter Mollie Katzen in your mailbox soon. If you miss it, be sure to join us on May 5 for the 24 hour on-line giving campaign with East Bay GivesPlease give as generously as you can. Your support helps make our great library extraordinary. 


The inspiring and  entertaining  AfterWords continues with a sampling of these ongoing up-close events with authors, artists and thinkers appearing below. Get your tickets early as the events can fill up fast. It's really true, there are so many possibilities at our libraries, there's something for everyone. Come join the fun! 


See you at the library,

Kathy Huff

BPLF Executive Director 

Upcoming AfterWORDS Events 

Film Screening of Pelican Dreams

April 19 @ 3:00pm - 5:00pm

Meyer Sound's Pearson Theatre


You and your family can meet filmmaker Judy Irving, best known for "The Parrots of Telegraph Hill", at Meyer Sound's Pearson Theater for a screening of her newest documentary, "Pelican Dreams" which features a young brown pelican who mistakenly lands on the Golden Gate Bridge, re-igniting Judy's enduring fascination with these ancient, endangered birds.  


Get your tickets today!


Thank you Judy Irving, Meyer Sound, and John and Helen Meyer for your generous donations. Special thanks to Authors Dinner Bibliophile Sponsors Trish and Tony Hawthorne.

Paris Transforming: The Beauty And The Horror Of Urban Reconstruction A Visual Show With Stories By Leonard Pitt

April 26 @ 2:00pm - 4:00pm

North Branch Library


Leonard Pitt has excelled in acting, teaching, and writing, has written numerous books, and been a graphic artist and a mime. He has founded theaters and worked with inner city youth. And now, with this latest show about Paris, he can add archaeological super sleuth to his resume, as he brings old Paris to life right before our eyes. 


Get your tickets today!



A Conversation With Zac Unger, Author Of Never Look A Polar Bear In The Eye 

May 3 @ 3:00pm - 5:00pm

Private Home in Berkeley 

In 2008 local author Zac Unger moved with his wife and three children from comfortable Oakland to frigid and remote Churchill, Manitoba, population 943 - the "polar bear capital of the world." His book Never Look a Polar Bear in the Eye is a spirited and often humorous account of his family's time in this unique place. Your ticket includes Zac's book, which he will sign at the event, and afternoon treats at the reception.


 Get your tickets today!


Thank you Zac Unger, Sophie Hahn, Eric Bjerkholt and Mrs. Dalloway's for your generous donation.



A Conversation With Scott Saul, Author Of A New Richard Pryor Biography

May 3 @ 4:00pm - 6:00pm.

Linden Street Brewery


This is your chance to meet Scott Saul and ask your own questions about his recently published book, Becoming Richard Pryor. This well written biography has grabbed the attention of reviewers across the country and abroad, who have acclaimed it as "riveting" (TIME), "masterful" (Newsreel) and "gripping" (Sunday Times). Berkeley's own Michael Chabon says "it's a fascinating, exhilarating read. It makes the worlds Pryor inhabited, and Pryor himself, come alive with a thrilling intensity. I didn't want to put the book down and couldn't wait to get back to it." The setting for this special event is Linden Street Brewery along with wine and snack creations from the new James Syhabout restaurant, The Dock at Linden Street.


Get your tickets today!


Thank you Scott Saul, Adam Lamoreaux, James Syhabout and The Dock at Linden Street for this generous donation.


Donor Spotlights

Every donation has a story. Our donors are individuals, businesses, foundations and other nonprofits who love libraries and want the Berkeley Public Library to thrive. Watch this section of our newsletter to learn more about our donors and sponsors. 


North Berkeley Investment Partn ers

provide comprehensive financial planning and investment management. Their mission is to help clients feel comfortable and confident with the financial decisions that they make in connection with their life goals.


What you do and why? We provide customized investment management across all areas of client assets - and we put everything on one page for our clients so they can see the entire picture. We are disciplined value investors and invest for both growth and capital preservation so clients are targeted to have less downside when the market is down, while still seeking growth over a long period of time. We want to meet our clients where they are. We offer ongoing, flexible, and custom financial planning that answers our clients' questions about their financial lives, and how the personal and the financial intersect.


Beyond the services we provide, we invest in our community by being a professional resource, supporting key organizations, and answering to stakeholder needs-including client, employee, community and environment-rather than only to shareholder needs. We are a certified B Corp member and happy to be at the forefront of visible change in the business weather.


We are proud to support the Berkeley Public Library Foundation because of its role in empowering our local libraries and providing a vital resource to our diverse community. 


Thank you North Berkeley Investment Partners for supporting the Berkeley Public Library.

Elisabeth Watson
Meet BPLF Board Member  
Elisabeth Watson

An East Bay and Sea Ranch realtor, Elisabeth is a transplant from the East Coast. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, she was a high school Social Studies in the South Bronx and Harlem in the New York City public schools. She moved to Berkeley after getting her MBA from Georgetown. She worked as a consultant to both business and nonprofits on organizational effectiveness and strategic execution - fancy words for turning good ideas into reality.


Thoughts on the library...I will never forget the day my branch librarian in Wilmington, Delaware solemnly handed me my library card and a pen to sign it.  I was 6. I signed my card and she helped me pick out books and then explained to me that I was responsible for them. Me. Not my Mom, me. I got to pick the books. I got to ask the librarian questions and for advice. I got to check them out. 

Our exceptional libraries are a part of what makes Berkeley so special and while it's not quite true that everyone in Berkeley is a regular user, it feels like it when I walk into any branch.  Walk into any branch on any day and you'll see the rich variety of people who want to know more and do more.  Berkeley comes together at our libraries.

Favorite part of the library...The hold shelf. Getting the book that I've been waiting for is like Christmas morning. I love my neighborhood North Branch, but you can find me in any of them. I still stand in awe and wonder at the West Branch, where I learned a lot about sustainable buildings during the Neighborhood Libraries Campaign.

Why the Library Foundation? Working with our amazing board members, past and present, to create a permanent means of private support for this cherished public institution is an honor and has been one of my most fulfilling experiences.  Our support enables the library to take risks and to be innovative, which enables our library to understand and respond to the changing needs of our community.

What are you reading?  Given what's going on in East Bay real estate, I thought I should revisit Michael Lewis's The Big Short.  I just had the pleasure of meeting Jan Ellison and am on the hold list for A Small Indiscretion.  And I'm about to start Tony Hawthorne's Silent Suspect.


Elisabeth is a realtor with  Highland Partners. She lives in the Berkeley Hills with her husband Nigel Blair-Johns, their two cats Casey and Peanut, and the one and only most amazing Border Collie, the incomparable Beau.


In This Issue
Quick Links
Foundation Website
Library Events Calendar
Friends of the Berkeley Public Library

My Library

by Varda One


It's only a room with shelves and books,

but it's far more magical than it looks.


It's a jet on which I soar

to lands that exist no more.


Or a key with which I find answers to questions crowding 

my mind.


Building my habit of learning and growing,

asking and researching till I reach knowing.


Here, I've been a mermaid and an elf

I've even learned to be more myself.


I think that I shall never see a place that's been more useful to me.


With encouraging kind friends with wit

Who tell me to dream big and never quit.


It's only a room with shelves and books,

but it's far more magical than it looks.


Thank you to writer, poet and friend of libraries, VARDA ONE of Hawthorne, California. Copyright ? reprinted with permission. 

Mark your calendar, or better yet, set your alarm for midnight. On

May 5 j oin us for a 24 the Bay Area on-line giving campaign. Anytime starting  at 12:01 a.m and ending at 11:59 p.m. on May 5th go on online to East Bay Gives and give to your favorite Bay Area charities (we hope you'll choose us!) 
About  BPLF

The Berkeley Public Library Foundation raises funds for and advocates on behalf of the Library. We provide grants for library innovation and organize community support to help sustain and grow the excellence of the buildings, services, collections and programs at all five locations of Berkeley Public Library.


Our strategic areas of focus are life long learning, closing the opportunity gap, economic development, digital literacy and the library of the future.

Funds provided by the Foundation help the library with the flexibility to meet changing needs, try new ideas, and increase awareness that it is a living, evolving institution vital to our diverse community.

The library is available to everyone. Anyone can do research, ask questions, find something to read, or host a community meeting. Even 6 year olds. 

Elisabeth Watson BPLF Board member 

See what's happening  with  our friends! 

Berkeley Public Library Foundation | |  | facebook
2090 Kittredge Street ~ Berkeley ~ California ~ 510.981.6115