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Style Magazine

Lit Clique

Feb 03, 2011 09:13AM ● By Style

Photos by Dante Fontana

Words are currency in the Information Age, when clever quips of grammatically-suspect code and 40-character missives have cast an influential shadow over modern readers.

But nothing – not a high-speed gadget or a whiz-bang gizmo – can replace a book or the tactile joys that only can come from dog-earing a page, highlighting a passage, or making a note in the margin. Yes, the Kindle may be convenient, but books still romance.

Facilitating this love affair is the mission of the local chapters of Friends of the Library in Folsom and El Dorado Hills. The purpose of each non-profit group – to advocate for local libraries and programs, encourage greater public use of the facilities, and raise funds to support all efforts – is similar, but each group operates separately and maintains its own identity.

“Folsom Public Library is vital in supporting lifelong learning and providing resources and space for community activities,” explains Friends of the Folsom Library President Mary Sessarego, and board members, Jane Hindmarsh and Susan Douglass. “Without member support and our fundraising activities, the library system could not be what it is today, and cannot progress to what it can be tomorrow.” Just up the road, EDH Friends of the Library supports the very own facility it helped create after a seven-year campaign.

The efforts of each FOL have helped make the libraries they champion exactly what they are: vital community resources for users of all ages and interests. Sponsored FOL programming at both facilities include various after-school programs for student-aged participants, children’s storytimes, computer classes, tutoring, clubs, and adult- and senior-focused offerings. In recent news, EDH FOL partnered with the Assistance League of the Sierra Foothills to introduce “Books on Wheels,” a new program that will deliver library books to the community’s homebound.

El Dorado HIlls Friends of the Library

“Friends’ also helps purchase materials and furnishings that libraries with budget limitations are not able to obtain,” adds Susan Covington, branch manager of the EDH Library. In 2010, EDH FOL members donated $40,000 in funds for library books, programs, and materials, while over the past three years Folsom FOL’s donations amount to approximately $200,000. Simply put, adds Covington, “Libraries could not thrive without Friends’ support.”

As such, fundraising remains chief priorities for both FOL groups, which help stage various library-related events, sponsor Internet and library book sales, collect annual membership dues, generate donations from various community groups, and participate in community events.

And, in case you haven’t been into your local library lately, don’t expect to see an antiquated card catalog (which, in some circles, still has its charms). “Libraries throughout the country have grown by leaps and bounds,” EDH FOL President Nancy McMahon explains. “They offer computers, databases with the latest research and information, downloadable books, and a wealth of new fiction and non-fiction books – and it is all free to the public!

Don’t miss upcoming book sales at the Folsom Library (March 11-13) and the El Dorado Hills Library (March 25-26).

For more information about the Folsom and El Dorado Hills Friends of the Library, contact or