The Friends of San Benito County Free Library hosted a workshop on Saturday, Aug. 23. The featured speaker was Alan B. Smith, library commissioner, District 4, in Concord and past president of the California Public Library Advocates (CPLA).  Smith, a former vice president of Bank of America, is a member of the State of California Public Library Advisory Board for services to the Blind and Visually Impaired. He also serves on the BART Advisory Board for the disabled.

There were 10 Friends and guests in attendance.

Smith led an interactive workshop on communicating and promoting the value of the San Benito County Free Library and enhancing that value through advocacy for the library. The Friends learned:

  • The role of the State of California Library in promoting literacy
  • How to create a library community that serves abled and disabled community members alike
  • The Friends’ role in communicating the value of the library with our elected representatives.

The Friends enjoyed a luncheon and participated in a workshop to define the goals of the Friends of the Library.

The 2014-2015 goals are:

  • Communicating library value more effectively with the public, our members and our elected representatives
  • Improving community outreach by regularly updating the Friends web site and working to link to other community web sites
  • Improving public service outreach by regularly preparing and delivering presentations to our elected representatives and schools
  • Improving the Friends’ internal effectiveness through ongoing work on volunteering descriptions and stewardship.

Smith’s presentation was a great overview of libraries in California and our own literary and library needs in San Benito County. The Friends got a call to action and specific work to complete.

The next meeting of the Friends of the San Benito County Free Library is Sept. 22, 5:30-7 p.m. at 470 5th St. in Hollister.