All Things Library 
Foundation News, Events and Happenings

Spring Appeal

Making a Difference 


The library is a place for everyone, where a community comes together, where access is free, where possibilities are unlimited.  -- Mollie Katzen



Thanks to Berkeley author and artist, Mollie Katzen, not only does the Berkeley Public Library have a fabulous new cookbook collection, but all who are eager for a new teen space at the Central library have a new champion! Did you receive her wonderful letter in the mail? If not, be sure to read why Mollie supports the Berkeley Public Library and how she asks all of us to join in giving to make a difference.


The Foundation's Spring Appeal helps support the proposed improvements to Central, estimated to cost $1.9 million. This exciting project provides upgrades to the first two floors, including a state-of-the-art teen room and a newly refurbished space for all patrons on the second floor. Detailed plans for the changes to Central by Noll & Tam Architects are posted on the BPLF website. You are also welcome to stop by the Foundation office to see hard copies of the latest schematics and talk more about what's being proposed. Our Executive Director Kathy Huff would enjoy meeting with you and can even arrange for a quick tour! 


The success of this project is sure to depend on everyone making the most generous gifts we can. Like our Branch Campaign, every dollar counts. Be sure to make your donation today! 

Margaretta K. Mitchell
Donor Spotlight 

Margaretta K. Mitchell honors BPLF Board President Trish Hawthorne


Acclaimed photographer, writer, and educator Margaretta K. Mitchell gifted a copy of her stunning portfolio Dance for Life in honor of the Foundation's President Trish Hawthorne. The portfolio - with its photogravures and original text - tells the story of the Temple of Wings in Berkeley and the legacy of the dance of Isadora Duncan. Twenty years of original research and photography culminated in a 1985 exhibition at the Oakland Museum, and inspired the symphony "Berkeley Images," which was commissioned by Kent Nagano for the Berkeley Symphony in 2000.


Trish was delighted to receive news of this recognition and the Foundation is honored to be able to thank Margaretta for her contributions as a major donor in support of the Berkeley Public Library.


On Monday, June 15, 2015 Mitchell will be at the Book Club of California to give an illustrated talk on "Dance for Life: The California Legacy of Isadora Duncan." She will share images from the portfolio, the process of making it, and the history that inspired it. Don't miss it! 

Meet BPLF Board Member 

Suzanne Calpestri 


After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, Suzanne Calpestri spent four decades as a librarian at UC Berkeley including positions in The Bancroft Library, and as Director of the George and Mary Foster Anthropology Library where she held the John H. Rowe Endowed Chair. At the North Branch she served on the Committee of the Neighborhood Library Campaign which helped raise over $3 million.


Thoughts on the library...I am particularly drawn to the library for its part in promoting civic engagement and an informed citizenry. It is a pleasure to see the broad spectrum of community members who actively use the libraries -- 1.3 million visitors and almost 110,000 new library cards issued just last year. When I visit the library I feel a buzz amid the quiet and it is very energizing


A library favorite...Berkeley Reads for providing evidence that the library can change lives in meaningful ways.


Serving on the Board...The work of the Foundation is meaningful to me because Berkeley citizens value their libraries and they show it through their use and support. I am excited by the Foundation's new series of AfterWORDS and the unique opportunities to learn more about writers, filmmakers and thinkers in our community.


What are you reading? To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 by Adam Hochschild. Masie Dobbs, by Jacqueline Winspear; God Help the Child by Toni Morrison; Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit.


Suzanne lives near Berkeley's North Branch library with architect husband Italo Calpestri. When not frequenting libraries around the world, they enjoy theater and music, opera in particular. 


Where there is always more to the story...
Behind the Scenes at Shotgun Players 

Next up on AfterWORDS is "Behind the Scenes at Shotgun Players with Patrick Dooley" July 31 @ 6:30 PM - 10:00 PM. Patrick Dooley - the founding artistic director of Shotgun Players - has built a theatrical company with a reputation for artistic excellence, social relevance and community engagement. Six guests will begin this special evening with a pre-performance dinner backstage with Patrick Dooley, dinner compliments of Poulet. Then you will attend Shotgun's production of Top Girls, Caryl Churchill's play examining what it means to be a successful woman in today's world.  It's a night out you won't forget!


Get your tickets here! 

Keeping Up With Our Friends 

The Friends of the Berkeley Public Library have their BIG ANNUAL BOOKSALE at the Central Library on Saturday, June 13 from 10 - 4pm and Sunday, June 14  from 1 - 4pm, 3rd Floor Meeting Room. The 2015 Friends Annual Meeting luncheon and program is also this month on Wednesday, June 17 at 11:30. Library Director Jeff Scott is the featured speaker. BPLF Executive Director Kathy Huff will also offer news about the work of the Foundation. To RSVP be sure to contact the Friends.

Bay Area Book Festival 
Introducing Soo Na Pak 


The Foundation welcomes Soo Na Pak as our new Program Assistant. Soo Na brings years of experience in nonprofit administration - including events planning, database development, logistics, bookkeeping, social media expertise, volunteer training, and more. She has worked with several nonprofits in the Bay Area and most recently was a freelance copy editor for Tufts University. Soo Na worked with StoryCorps and her very first job was as a public library Circulation Assistant at the Baltimore County Public Library. Like all Foundation staff and volunteers she is an avid reader and library user. Not only did Soo Na impress the hiring committee with her considerable accomplishments, she won us over when she told us that she used her library card so much that the number had been committed to memory! Soo Na's hours are typically 9am - 3pm M - F. Please stop by the office and say hello.


Libraries were a place to which I could bring all of my questions, and leave with a stack of books filled with potential answers. There is magic in the stacks, poetry in the Dewey Decimal System, and an acute, warm curiosity in the eyes of librarians. -- Soo Na Pak           

Farewell Emily Bonzi
In May we said goodbye to our wonderful BPLF Administrative and Program Assistant  Emily Bonzi.
Emily's warm smile, skill, and dedicated efforts on behalf of the Library Foundation will be greatly missed.Wishing her all the best in her new job as the Special Events Coordinator at Junior Achievement in Walnut Creek. 
Library Happenings

The Berkeley Public Library is a hub of activity all month long. Registration for the Summer Reading Program is now open. Check out the monthly calendar, the website, or just stop by and catch up on all the latest programs, author events and books. There is always something for everyone at the library. 

Berkeley Public Library Foundation
2090 Kittredge Street /
510 981 6115 
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