Blogging Bayport Alameda

July 6, 2017

Friends of the Alameda Free Library guest blog

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

I’m so happy to write this post during Lauren’s vacation. I’m a board member of the Friends of the Alameda Free Library (FAL). I love our libraries and am constantly amazed by the staff and the programs at our three libraries. Our librarians are creative, curious and resourceful. They are always looking for ways to present information in new and interesting ways. A myriad of programs are available to children, teens and adults. Here are just a few samples: Book groups for all ages, children’s storytimes, Alameda Reads – the library’s adult literacy program, computer classes, homework tutoring, writers’ groups, film series, art docent programs, Shakespeare on Tour, TEDx Simulcasts, free lawyer consultations, meetings with legislators, parks programs, knitting and crochet meetups, board games, community sing-a-longs, Lego playgroup and more. We have a mobile library on a bicycle, called Words on Wheels, that you may have seen at the Farmers Market, parks or other events. Our library makes hundreds of visits to homebound citizens every year. There is even talk of starting a tool lending library with tools you can use for home repair and remodeling projects. All these services are free to the public. That’s right ALL FREE.

This brings me to The Friends. In 1974 our library-loving founders saw the need for a new library building and founded The Friends. They began raising money with the first used book sale. The momentum grew slowly and in 2006, with the help of the citizens of Alameda and many different agencies, Alameda dedicated the new main library on Oak Street. Last year we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the building.

Today FAL raises money by managing Dewey Café in the main library, holding semi-annual used book sales, producing the Live@The Library concerts, as well as direct fundraising efforts and hosting special events. The funds we raise support many programs provided by the library like Alameda Reads, the summer reading programs, Words on Wheels, art docents, the film series, technology upgrades and more. Without the Friends’ support those programs would not exist or would be drastically reduced. It is just that simple.

Would you like to be involved? We are always looking for board members and volunteers. We have jobs big and small. Some can be done from home. Some are year-round and some are seasonal. Bring skills you have honed for years or try something new. Meet new people who share a love of libraries and community spirit. To volunteer please email me at To donate, visit our website at The next time you are at the library, stop by Dewey’s Café and have a snack. The coffee is fresh and the pastries come from Feel Good Bakery. How much better could it get?



  1. awesome

    Comment by MP — July 6, 2017 @ 9:05 am

  2. I came to Alameda just before the new library was opened, and have enjoyed it ever since. I have taken advantage of some of the children’s programs, participated in Banned Books activities, participated in a Voter Registration (League of Women Voters) table in the lobby, and–oh yes–also am a frequent borrower of books for me and my bilingual grandson. Many thanks to all of the staff and volunteers who help this wonderful community resource continue and grow.

    Comment by KSD — July 6, 2017 @ 9:41 am

  3. This guest blog is refreshing and a welcome respite from the usual topics. Keep up the good work FAFL!

    Comment by Il Cane di Ferro — July 6, 2017 @ 11:46 am

  4. I’ve been scouring Amazon for books for my Kindle, also using Overdrive to check them out. Most Kindle books are too expensive, and on Overdrive I end up 78th in line, and I can’t put more than 6 books on hold there at a time.

    I finally started going back to my trusty West End branch and I end up returning books unread because the selection is fine and my requests are usually filled too quickly for me to get to.

    The app to reserve books on mobile phone isn’t compatible with iPhone 7, but I can still reserve them from my desktop.

    LOVE my library!

    Comment by mydogsrbarkin — July 6, 2017 @ 2:49 pm

  5. Nice building, but I find it lacking content compared to San Leandro, a city of comparable size.

    Comment by Retiredteacher — July 7, 2017 @ 7:41 am

  6. Many people take advantage of the Interlibrary Loan program. Simply ask your librarian to bring in your book from another library, still a free service here. Or, request that the book be considered for purchase. I believe this can be done on the bottom right of the library’s home page. Libraries are always trying to find out what their patrons are interested in, so drop a line, or pick up a phone and call in.

    Comment by Li_ — July 15, 2017 @ 7:01 pm

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