One of the things I like to do is go to a library and read magazines such as The Economist or use their computers for research. I currently have library cards for a number of cities.
I was at the Norwalk library one day and got to talking to the library manager. She mentioned that they were going to introduce a group called Friends of the Library. So, I joined.
Many libraries have such groups They are not part of the official library but they do support library activities, such as summer reading programs, entertainment and movies. “Friend’s” book sales to provide the funds to support these activities.
The Los Angeles County Library System currently has about seventy such groups. Membership is open to anybody interested. To join a group. just go to your local library and ask. One of the events the “Friends” is currently helping with is the program for the homeless and low-income individuals and families. We supply staff for set-up, registration, direct clients to the correct service and supply food, clothes and books. A number of other organizations provide services such as flu shots, hair cutting and light first-aid.
I remember one entertainment program with a magician. He brought two children, a boy and a girl, both about nine years of age up on the stage. The girl was to be the Sleeping Beauty and the boy was Prince Charming.
The magician explained that the Prince had to wake Sleeping by kissing her. The boy said, “I’m not going to kiss her” and the girl said, “He’s not going to kiss me.” And the magician said, “In ten years both of you would never dream of saying such things.” Haha.
The book sale also provided students with the opportunity to earn credit for community service for helping at the book sale.
When I was a volunteer in Boso Boso in the Philippines, I tried to set up a library in my village. The organization had a small store and next to it was a vacant space. My idea was to put a library in the vacant space and when customers would come to borrow a book they would also buy something from the store. A library in a neighboring town offered to train some of the children as librarians. But the organization was not interested.
So, with my wife’s help, we found other libraries in the Philippines that wanted to expand their collections. We make two shipments a year. So far, we have shipped 1,492 books. What a great pity – Boso Boso could have a very nice library by now.
One year we were short of books so I went to Cerritos Library and asked their “Friends” for donations after their book sale was over. They gave me some very nice books and had one their members load them in my car. Norwalk “Friends” donated some books to Lakewood “Friends” and in return received donations from them. Downey also has a “Friends” organization.
In 2017 one of our members died. She was the person who arranged, cleaned and organized the books prior to the book sale and a number of other jobs. None of the current “Friends” have the large amount of time to devote to the project. So now we only have a daily book sale but the two large sales have been discontinued.
Anthony Kingsley is a member of the writing class at Norwalk Senior Center.