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Fall 2017
From Our President

Dear Friends,

"Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old, shared a little of what he or she is good at doing" ~ Quincy Jones

This quotation above encapsulates what the Friends of the Los Gatos Library board do all year long. Each person generously shares his or her unique gift, inspiring others to do the same.

And this sharing was recognized by the Town Council and Mayor Marico Sayoc on October 24 when the Friends of the Library received October's "Small Business, Big Applause" commendation. We are very honored to receive this award!

Speaking of sharing, I would like to acknowledge the prodigious writing talents of two of our board members, Mary Martin, our newsletter editor, and Mary Ann Cook, our member emerita. These two seasoned professionals generously share their expertise with all of us and keep us connected as a community. Let me also acknowledge all of the dedicated volunteers in the Friends bookstore and the sorting room who contribute their gifts and love of books and libraries. Without them there would be no bookstore! If you are not yet a volunteer, we invite you to join the group and share your gift. 

The Friends work closely with the library staff and are happy to welcome the new library director, Ryan Baker, who wholeheartedly took on this position in August.

As you may have noticed, there is no longer a coffee area in the library. That space was never plumbed for that purpose, and all the water used in the past was bottled, so it is unlikely that the coffee cart will be replaced.  However, Ryan and the library staff are planning for the best use of the area in the future with the help of the Friends. In the meantime, the Chartreuse  Caboose is "camped" there, and you can browse through the books for sale.

The Friends bookstore has been busy with more than just bookselling. It was the venue for three speakers participating in the second annual Irish Writers Festival on October 7. And on November 4, Ann Wu gave a presentation on ancient Chinese ideographs, describing how they developed from pictures into the characters we see today. For more information about Friends events, or to join and become a supporting member, visit

Warmest regards, Alyce Parsons, President


Mayor Sayoc Presents The Friends with Commendation

The Friends of the Library was selected by Mayor Marico Sayoc as the honoree for October's "Small Business, Big Applause." The commendation was presented at the October 17 Town Council meeting. Pictured (l. to r.) are Mayor Sayoc, Friends President Alyce Parsons, and Friends board members Gretchen Bell, Georgina Van Horn and Toni Blackstock.

In This Issue
The Board 2017-2018

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

Directors At Large:
Louise Roon
Gretchen Bell
Christopher Kowitz

This pie chart is a breakdown of how Friends-donated funds are used by the library. For example, the children's summer reading program-which is 100 percent funded by the Friends-accounted for 18 percent of the money the Friends gave to the library last year.

East Bay Astronomical Society at LG Library
On August 12, the Los Gatos Library hosted a talk about the total solar eclipse of 2017. The speaker was David Lawson of the East Bay Astronomical Society who gave a wonderful fact-filled presentation on eclipses, their histories, and the importance of the 2017 total solar eclipse. The program drew a record-breaking crowd of more than 200 people, the largest attendance ever for an adult library program! Eclipse-viewing glasses were given out after the program.

Ryan Baker is New Library Director

On the job since July 31, Ryan Baker is the new director of Los Gatos Library. He's not new to the Bay Area, however, having earned his master's degree in library and information sciences from San Jose State University. 
Most recently he was the library and community services director for the City of Sierra Madre, a community that, like Los Gatos, values its small-town character. Before that he worked for the cities of Irwindale, Long Beach and Alhambra.
The Friends group looks forward to working with Ryan, who says, "The library is the cornerstone of a community. It is a place to meet, exchange ideas, and pursue learning that lasts a lifetime. I look forward to serving the library and community of Los Gatos." 

Our Volunteers Rock!

by Toni Blackstock

The Friends volunteers are an amazingly eclectic and interesting group. Most are either retired or self-employed and able to devote three or more (many more for some!) hours per week to either process the book donations or shelve and sell in the bookstore. 

Most volunteers live in Los Gatos and have for many years. There are several retired teachers (from preschool to university), a former software CEO, artists, a floral-shop owner, an art-shop owner, a registered nurse, a high school coach, a health-club owner, a heating-and-air-conditioning contractor, a hospital lab technician, social service professionals, and a gerontologist, to name a few-all bringing their skills to the Friends group.

In their spare time these active and energetic people do gardening, yoga, cooking, needlework, travel (one of our most time-generous volunteers has visited 105 countries and counting!), woodwork and painting. And they all love to read!

Many of these folks came to volunteer because they love books and enjoy being with other book-  and library-lovers. Many came because they had a friend who was a Friend. One gentleman came at his wife's suggestion and stayed on in the store.

Here's what some of our volunteers say:

"I have worked with and met some great people. It keeps me out of mischief on Friday mornings." 

"I run across some very interesting books from time to time and I take them home to read-and then return them for sale!" 

"Friends gives me the opportunity to interact with other people who also love to read."

You are welcome to join this fun group, because there's plenty of work for all with the Friends! If you're interested, please pick up an application in the bookstore.

Friends of the Library Support
by Rita Baum

Have you visited the library lately?  Los Gatos Library is a popular place, not only for those doing research, meeting for book discussion, or seeking the next good read, but for people of ages and interests from preschoolers to late-in-life bookworms.  Two-thirds of Los Gatans are library card-holders.
   In spring and summer, the patio is filled with students who are doing homework or meeting for group projects, gladly sharing the area with seniors who are enjoying a book in the sunshine.  In winter, the Fireside Room is a popular spot for those who take pleasure in the ambiance of the fireplace.  Preschoolers and elementary school students enjoy the children's room, built with funds raised by Friends of the Library.  
 Last year the library offered 311 programs, serving more than 22,000 children and family members.   Friends of the Library membership funds and used-book sales provide funding for library programs for adults, children, and teens.
We thank our Friends members whose support makes these benefits possible, and encourage them to renew. If you're not already a member, please consider joining-and giving a gift membership to a friend.
To join visit Friends of the Library

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.

Silicon Valley Reads Selections

Silicon Valley Reads has announced its selections for 2018, both by Bay Area authors. My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward is a memoir by Mark Lukach, and Goodbye, Vitamin is a novel by Rachel Khong. 

Author appearances and other events will be announced early next year.

Three Speakers at Irish Writers Festival

by Mary Ann Cook 

The three authors at the recent Irish Writers Festival at the Friends bookstore were enthusiastically received. Evelyn Conlon, author of Not the Same Sky, spoke to a full house of 50. Her book is the story of Irish orphan girls shipped to Australia after the potato famine of 1848. 

In her research Conlon discovered a diary written by Charles Strutt, a surgeon who supervised one of the voyages. He gave the girls English lessons, hygiene lessons, dances even, so that they could acquire a sense of unity during their harrowing three-months-long journey. 

This writer's tone is sprightly, ironic, down-to-earth, witty, gentle and lyrical. It's Conlon's seventh book. The book defies expectations and puts an original and unpredictable spin on a fascinating story, carefully researched, beautifully written, utterly compelling, according to reviewers.


Jan Carson, the second speaker, is lively and funny and writes books for children and adult. She has become known for what she calls postcard stories with a maximum of 200 words and has a published book of that name. All these tales can be encapsulated on a postcard.

Malcolm Orange Disappearsand Children's Children are two of her other titles, published by Emma Press. Carson brings magic realism and present-day settings to Biblical stories and folk tales. Her accent and stories charmed her audience. 

Los Gatan Norm Matteoni was the third Friends' speaker. His book is Prairie Man: the Struggle Between Sitting Bull and Indian Agent James McLaughlin. Matteoni is an eminent domain lawyer, with a specialty in land use and zoning, real property and environmental law. His earlier book was Condemnation Practice in California, and it is updated periodically.

Matteoni could be the poster person for community service, having served on Saratoga's city council, planning commission and parks commission, the Peninsula Open Trust board, County Water Commission and the Intergovernmental Council. He helped implement the first regulations of the California Environmental Quality Act.

Matteoni talked with Myles Dungan, the author of How the Irish Won the West. Dungan conducts a weekly history show on Irish National Radio.

Fintan Vallely, an Irish traditional music authority, played several pieces on the flute to lead off the authors.

Young Writers Workshops

by Rita Baum

Calls and email messages from parents and student participants started coming in soon after the spring Young Writers Workshop, asking when the next workshop will be held. At this time, only one workshop is offered each year, usually in March or April, and often students sign up and bring a story to share at a second workshop.
Friends of the Library are committed to opening the world of writing to the youth of our community through the workshops where young participants quickly find that writing is an exhilarating experience, as their imaginations take hold and they learn they have exciting stories to tell.  Workshop leader, Cheryl Lee McKenzie, Los Gatos published author of fiction for young readers, opens the world of character creation and plot development to new and repeat workshop participants.
Students write a variety of stories, humorous, adventurous, and sad. A few recent titles include: "A Missing Family," "Alone," "How Pioneers got Through," "Wanted," and "The Sad Little Penguin."
Notices of  registration for upcoming workshop dates can be found in the Friends newsletter and the Los Gatos Weekly Times in early spring.