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Friends of the Library

Friends of the Library logo
Be a Friend of the Arcadia Public Library! 


 
Your membership will help the Library meet important community needs for information and education.  The Friends of the Arcadia Library, a 501(c)(3) public charitable organization, supports the city's most essential resource for literacy, research, and lifelong learning.
 
The Friends of the Library:
  • Sponsors the Children's Summer Reading Program
  • Helps fund the Adult English Conversation Class 
  • Sponsors programs of cultural and civic interest, such as the Kaleidoscope Classical Concerts
  • Operates the Friends Bookstore
Membership privileges:
  • Annual coupon for free books from the Friends Bookstore (number depends on membership level)
  • 10% discount on a $10 purchase at the Friends Bookstore 
  • Three issues of Among Friends, the member newsletter. mailed to your home
  • Tax deductions for your donations
  • Memberships are available for individuals, families, and businesses 

Check Out the Friends of the Library Bookstore: 

If you haven’t discovered the Friends of the Library Bookstore located just inside the Library's front door, be sure to stop by! 

The Bookstore's shelves are filled with books for both children and adults--fiction and nonfiction that cover many subjects including mystery, art, biography, business, entertainment, history, music, literature, science, travel, and more.  All books are in good condition and are always sold at absolutely amazing bargain prices.  

The Bookstore is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is staffed entirely by volunteers.  Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer in the store or working at pricing and sorting donated books can call the Friends of the Library Bookstore at (626) 294-4813.

Please visit the Bookstore and support the Friends by purchasing books and gifts. All proceeds raised through these sales are donated to the Library and support a variety of Library activities from children’s programs to online databases. This is your chance to be a smart shopper and support your local library at the same time.

Do you have books that are in good shape and that you won't be reading again?  Donate them to the Friends of the Library Bookstore.


A Brief History of the Friends of the Arcadia Public Library:

The Friends of the Arcadia Public Library were founded in May 1956 with a charter membership of 63.  The American Association of University Women sponsored the group and on May 29, 1956 a tea was held to introduce the new organization to the community. 

Early on, the Friends established traditions of providing interesting programs and giving the Library much needed items that the regular operating budget could not cover.  John Henderson of the Los Angeles County Public Library system presented the Friends’ first program on October 28, 1956.  On February 21, 1957 the first gift was give to the Library:  a Califone record player.

In 1960, Cay Mortenson established the first annual used book sale, which netted $447.  The Library’s Auditorium is named in her honor in recognition of her pioneering and dedicated efforts organizing these book sales.  Countless hours of effort went into these book sales, with volunteers sorting, pricing and packing boxes of books.  Each year, through 1994, volunteers would then unpack the books, organizing them into categories on tables in the Auditorium.  According to an essay entitled “Twice-Sold Tales:  Library Support From the Friends” written by Doris and Jerry Selmer and published in Visions of Arcadia: A Centennial Essay edited by Gary Kovacic, the final sale raised $10,782.  A total of approximately $163,000 was raised from all the annual sales.
 
In October of 1996, the Friends’ bookstore opened in the newly remodeled Library and operates six days a week to the delight of its many customers.  A dedicated core of volunteers still continues to sort and price donated used books to stock the shelves of the store and another group staffs the store.
Contributions from the Friends are approaching nearly half a million dollars.  The generosity of the Friends and their hard work mean that the community has had and continues to have many wonderful library programs and services that otherwise would not be possible.  Without the Friends support, programs for children, music lovers, and adult English-language learners would be much less appealing, and the Library’s shelves would be less full of interesting books and audiovisual materials.
 
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In May 2006, the Friends celebrated their 50th anniversary.


Published: February 19, 2020