postheadericon Friends of the Library

Library’s Friends support local literary programming

November 25, 2012 6:05 pm •  

Do you hoard books? Would you like to?

Whether you want a cure or the wonderful disease, the Friends of the Napa Library organization can help with its quarterly book sales.

Book donations to the labeled bin behind the Napa County Library supply these sales, and the sales support the library to the tune of nearly $100,000 this year alone. Most Friends of the Library volunteers sort books, and if you’ve attended the sales, you can see why. Each event presents thousands of titles, carefully categorized. I’m always surprised by the number of current best-sellers, classic texts and collectible editions. At the last sale, I bought Amy Sedaris’ “I Like You,” a humorous how-to-host-company book — perfect for my friend’s birthday.

You can support both the library and our one local bookstore by joining the Friends of the Napa Library and using your 10 percent discount at Copperfield’s. Membership in Friends is only $15 per year or $100 for a lifetime. Besides the Copperfield’s discount, you’ll be able to scour the book sales the day before they officially open and receive a newsletter that tells you of noteworthy donations (early California history, anyone?).

Of course, the help of book-loving volunteers is needed to sort those books, and how else will you know which ones you’re going to grab at the next sale? Potential volunteers should contact Book Sale Manager Bruce Taylor at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

What is your purpose or mission?

Jim Roberts, Friends of the Napa Library president: “Our purpose is to support the Napa County Library through financial and volunteer contributions to maintain, expand and improve library resources. We promote the use of library resources by the community and provide support through the volunteer services of our dedicated membership. We encourage reading and assist groups with a similar goal. We support the library’s role as a forum for information and ideas for the whole community.”

In brief, what’s the history of your organization?

“Friends of the Library was established 45 years ago by Napans who wished to support our library. We now have 1,200 members, including 18 board members and 80 to 90 active volunteers who make our book sales successful. We raise money for the library through membership dues and four annual book sales held at the library. We raise more than $90,000 annually for new or existing programs.”

Who are the people you serve?

“We serve the entire community with programs like Tutor.com, which provides live one-on-one tutoring for children and adults; literacy programs; and children’s programs, such as the Summer Reading Program and other special children’s events. We also support Mango Languages, an immersion language acquisition technique to help people learn new languages at their own pace; the new Napa Teen Room; adult programming including speakers, performers and the Art in the Library series; and Tumblebooks, e-books for our children.

“One of our most popular programs supplies library shopping baskets for patrons to take home for free, to store and organize their borrowed materials. These are only a few of the efforts that the Friends support.”

Is there an anecdote that illustrates the work you do?

“Each year the Friends partner with the Kiwanis Club of Napa on the Summer Reading Program, which encourages children to read during the summer break from school. At the end of the program, we host a daylong party for the participants at the Elks Lodge in Napa.

“This year, some 800 children participated and were treated to gifts, refreshments and entertainment. Watching and listening to their laughter and enjoyment is reward enough, but the real payoff comes when we ask each and every child how many books he or she read during the summer and which one was their favorite. In most instances the children have read dozens of books, and we watch their eyes light up as they suddenly realize how much they enjoyed those literary adventures.”

What’s a current need or upcoming project?

“Our last book sale for 2012 is December 8-15. Weekdays and Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. We will have thousands of books, most just like new. Hardcover books are only $2, and paperbacks are two for $1. Come early in the week for the best selection. On Friday, Dec. 14, books are half price, and on Saturday, Dec. 15, you can fill a grocery bag with books for $5. Also, look for our everyday book sale just inside the main entrance. All proceeds go to benefit the library and its programs.

“The Napa Friends of the Library is needed more than ever as state funding continues to be cut. Library Director Danis Kreimeier and her dedicated staff have cut expenses to the bone. We encourage new members and public support of our quarterly book sales. With our fundraising and our hardworking volunteers, we can help keep our library as the center of learning and enjoyment for people of Napa.”

Each week, Napa Valley CanDo provides a profile of a Napa Valley nonprofit or service club — what the organization does, what it needs and how an interested person can get involved. For more information on the column, contact Hilary Zunin at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . To learn more about opportunities for community service, visit NVCanDo.org.