Mission Statement

The mission of the Friends of the Atascadero Library is to support, promote and expand the library's resources and programs. 

Newsletter July - August 2014
In This Issue...
President's Message
Robert E. Alberti, Ph.D.
Outgoing/Past President's Message
Grenda Ernst
Art Exhibits Update 
Meet Your Board Members! 
Librarian's Message
Joe Laurenzi
Children's and Adult's Program Calendar

and more....
Grand opening day--
It was a textbook day for an opening!  Beautiful weather, hundreds of attendees of all ages, local dignitaries, costumed characters and wonderful refreshments highlighted the day many had anticipated for years and years. Festivities started out with glorious welcomes, heartfelt thank-yous, proclamations, a ribbon cutting and a drawing for the lucky winner to be the first to check out a book from the new facility.  Once inside, visitors marveled at the Library's size, amenities, art, teen and children's areas and community room. as well as upgraded offerings from books to computers to the new Friends bookstore!  And the fun hasn't stopped, according to Librarian Joe Laurenzi whose message appears below.  Definitely a happy "ending" and a new "beginning" for the Friends of Atascadero Library's fundraising committee that's worked for more than a decade to bring this vision to reality as they now shift focus to programs that will raise awareness of this "classic" community treasure. 
--and many more Grand days to come!
Robert Alberti assumed his role as Board President as of July 1, 2014
President's Message 
Robert E. Alberti, Ph.D.


That's the word on everyone's lips as they visit our wonderful new Atascadero Library. It's an exciting and challenging honor to begin a term as president of the Friends at such a high point.  And our task is clear: to consolidate those gains and to maintain the enthusiasm all of Atascadero has brought to the development of our new library. There are so many to thank for bringing us to this time of celebration; most have been recognized elsewhere. I'd like to mention a few that deserve special recognition.

The footsteps before me are going to be tough to follow: Sarah Gronstrand, Alice Rew, Henry Ridder, Grenda Ernst and others have given so much to our community through their devotion to our library. We owe them all a huge debt of gratitude.  Grenda, as all who know her are aware, has been a wonderful leader who has set the bar very, very high.

Read more, click here

Grenda Ernst will continue to serve on the Board of Directors as Past President
Outgoing/Past President's Message
Grenda Ernst

For seven years, the bi-monthly President's Message for the FOL newsletter has been part of my regular routine.  When I sat down just now to write, it was startling to realize that this is my last column, and I am certainly experiencing a sense of finality and leave-taking.  It has been an honor to be president of the Friends of the Library.  We are the movers and shakers behind the new library on Capistrano Avenue; we were the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce Organization of the Year in 2011; we created one of the most popular and effective fund-raising events in the north county - Dancing With Our Stars; we demonstrated that a group of volunteers can make a difference, can have a huge impact on the social and cultural life of a community.


Read more, click here

"Regatta"    Watercolor by John Barnard
show begins in August

                                                      Library Art Exhibits


The Atascadero Library now offers rotating art exhibits in the adult area of the library.  Every two months, exhibits will change to feature a selected artist or a thematic display that includes the work of several artists.  The colorful work of Atascadero artists Pat Cairns and Jim Carlisle is being exhibited through the end of July.  Pat and Jim work in a variety of media; their work has been exhibited in many galleries as well as on the Open Studio Tour.   The Atascadero Library is pleased to share their talents with the community.


In August and September, the library will welcome another outstanding Atascadero artist, John Barnard.  John studied at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles.  A prolific artist, John says, I get up every morning and can hardly wait to paint."  His art depicts a wide variety of subjects, from local landscapes to character studies and still lifes. 


All are welcome to attend bimonthly art receptions at the library to meet the artists.  More than 50 people attended the Cairns-Carlisle reception held on June 19.  Another reception is planned for August 7 to meet John Barnard and enjoy his work.


In October and November, the library will host a thematic display that features artist interpretations of climate change.  Artists who would like to be considered for this display are encouraged to contact AtascaderoLibraryArt@gmail.com to receive an application and guidelines for submission.


Submitted by Eileen O'Grady

Meet Your Friends of the Atascadero Library Board
Starting with this edition of the newsletter. we will regularly profile Board Officers and Directors so that readers may be better acquainted with those who have a hand in making important decisions regarding the Library's programs. All Board members are volunteer and tireless advocates for ensuring the community has access to a high quality library experience.
Robert (Bob) Alberti, President

Bob has been married to his wife Deborah since 1958. They have two adult children; three adult grandchildren. A retired psychologist, author, book editor and publisher and Cal Poly professor, Bob has been a resident SLO county 45 years, in Atascadero for 21. As well, he is Past President, Foundation for SLO County Public Libraries. His community activities (past and present) include Atascadero Community Band, Atascadero Education Foundation, Senior Nutrition, Disaster Mental Health, Emergency Communications, Hotline counselor, School volunteer (SLCUSD). Other activities that keep Bob busy: trombone, amateur radio, lap swimming, collaborating with John Deere to tame the weeds.  He's even been known to read a book on occasion.



Jeannie Malik, Vice President

Jeannie said she became interested in Friends of the Library when another Board member, Leigh Livick, invited her to be a community star dancer for Dancing With Our Stars in 2011.  Jeannie's been involved in the effort to raise funds for the new library ever since.  She's now vice-president of the board, though her focus will continue to be as coordinator for the wildly popular annual DWOS dance contest and elegant evening event.  Jeannie's enthusiasm and talent earned her a 2nd place award in 2011 and 1st place in 2012 when she partnered with then-County Supervisor Jim Patterson-she's also participated in dance performances the last two years. 

Jeannie said she sees the focus of the Friends of the Library shifting from fundraising for the new facility to continuing to ensure funds are raised to equip the library with the latest technology, books, DVDs, educational programs and providing the opportunity for the library to host well-respected authors.
Read more, click here


Susie Blackwell, Recording Secretary

                          submitted by Susie Blackwell

I learned to love libraries through observing and interacting with the staff at our local library. I was a single mom with a limited income and my daughter learned to see life without limitations through the efforts of our local library staff. We spent many Saturday afternoons perusing the shelves and finding treasures like the classic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and more contemporary Divergent series. My daughter, Dani, volunteered at the library from the time she was in eighth grade until she left for her UCSB experience right out of high school.. Joan, the Children's librarian, has been supportive of Dani since she was a very young girl. Whether it was figuring out how to complete a science project in fifth grade or applying to the Education Abroad Program at UCSB, Joan listened to her goals and gave effective advice and inspiration.

Read more, click here



Board members Audrey Hooper, Jim Patterson and Georgie Arnold serve an early guest and make sure they're ready for the crowds!  
Photo by Deborah Cash
FOL BBQ at the Lake 
a fundraising success!

More than 400 people enjoyed delicious barbecue and supported the Atascadero Library on Tuesday, June 24 at a fundraiser hosted by the Friends of the Library and organized by the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce as part of a summer program offering nonprofits the opportunity to raise money for their organizations. 

The Elks did a great job cooking up barbecued chicken and beef, and the menu included salad, beans, bread, salsa and a beverage.  A bake sale and raffle also added a few extra dollars to the coffers. Funds raised will be applied to programs and activities at the new Library.
Notice to Members--We'd Love To Hear From You!

What's In a Name?
For many years, the name of our Atascadero Library has included the name of major donor Martin Polin, who contributed property more than thirty years ago to make construction of the Morro Road building possible. Thus, the official name of the facility was "Atascadero-Martin Polin Library" (although the signs on the building read "Atascadero Public Library"). 
Now, with the transition to our new Capistrano Avenue building, Mr. Polin's generosity has been recognized with the Martin Polin Community Room, and the library renamed simply the Atascadero Library.
So who are we?  Officially, we've been the Friends of the Atascadero-Martin Polin Library.  Are we to become Friends of the Atascadero Library?  Atascadero Friends of the Library? Or something else entirely?
The Friends board invites your input. The decision must be made soon (the board will be considering this on July 9) so we can update our official documents and publications. 
Email debcash@macservices.net with your suggestions!

Librarian's Message
Joe Laurenzi, MLS
Regional Librarian, North County


Joe Laurenzi greets 
State Assemblyman 
Katcho Achadjian at opening ceremonies.
   Photo by Deborah Cash
Here are some Key Numbers for Opening Day!


1308 - Circulation Checkout and Renewal

1445 - Self Check and Check Out

1878 - Total items checked into building

33 - New Card Registrations (new cards registered daily so at least 5 per day for 17 days)


We also welcome a new part-time member to our library, Kristen Barnhart to our staff. Kristen has worked in SLO Library and her passion for children's library service and experience will be a real bonus to our community.


We had our first successful adult program led by our Art Committee. Sixty people attended the inaugural art event honoring local artists Pat Cairns and Jim Carlisle.  Guests enjoyed refreshments and had an opportunity to meet the artists in person.


Here are some other successes we have had in the past two weeks.  Read more, click here



Submitted by Joan Bloomfield
Youth Services Librarian, Atascadero


Through August 30

Join us for the San Luis Obispo County Library's Adult Summer Reading

Program, "Literary Elements!" Reach the goals and receive prizes and

surprises.  For more information, go to www.slolibrary.org and view the

Event Calendar on the home page or contact the Atascadero Branch: call Brian at 461-6162.  


Other smaller North County library branches participating in the Adult

Summer Reading Program include Santa Margarita, Creston, Shandon, San Miguel and Simmler.




Wednesdays, 10:30 am

Ages 3-6

This program is free to the public and will resume again on

September 10th.   Sign-ups are not required.   For information, call Joan at




Thursdays, 10:30 am

Ages:  18 months-3 years old

Limit:  15 toddlers (pre-registration required)

Priority is given to children already in the program or on the waiting list.

Location:  Atascadero Library  


Looking Ahead:  FALL SESSION

September 11-November 20

Toddlers and their caregivers will enjoy this lively 20-minute session.

Each child and his or her caregiver will interact in a variety of positive

ways.  This includes participating in stories, songs, movement, nursery

rhymes and finger plays.  For information, call Joan at 461-6163.



3rd Thursday of each month, July 17, August 21, 3:00-4:00 pm

For ages 4 and older

Location:  Atascadero Library 

Join Captain, a 6-year-old tan and white rough-coated Jack Russell Terrier and his human friend Anne Harris, for a relaxed hour of stories.  Captain enjoys being part of the "Reading to Rover" program at the library and loves it when children read to him and the children have a good time as well.  

Heis certified as a therapy dog and besides visiting the library he goes to convalescent and care facilities.  Captain always seems to know who is in the most need of a visit from a friendly, gentle, and quiet little dog.  For information call 461-6163. 



Tuesdays  July 1, August 5  11:00 am

For ages 4 and older

Location:  Atascadero Library  

Dexter, certified as a Pet Partner through the Delta Society, loves listening to stories at the Atascadero Library.  He began visiting our library in January 2013.  Dexter also loves taking walks, playing with his buddies, eating, sleeping and cuddling.  For information call 461-6163.





Through August 16

Children and young adults are invited to read and keep track of the titles

read on a reading log.  Upon completion, each youngster will receive a book

bag, popular paperback and other special rewards. The themes are "Fizz!

Boom! Read!" (birth-fifth grade) and "Spark a Reaction!" (entering sixth

grade-high school).  Check the children's event board, teen area, local

newspapers and radio/TV stations and www.slolibrary.org for updates,

including other branch libraries participating in the program.  All programs

are free and held at the library, unless otherwise noted. They are sponsored

by the Atascadero Friends of the Library.  For more information, call Joan

at 461-6163.



Thursdays   11:00 AM

Colony Park Community Center  5599 Traffic Way

Recommended for ages 4+

Sponsored by the Atascadero Friends of the Library and 

the City of Atascadero, Department of Community Services



July 10 Storyteller  Library Fairy 

Storytelling from all over the world comes to life with this colorful, bilingual performer dressed in fairy wings and high heel tennis shoes.









July 17  Singer/Songwriter Melissa Green

Enjoy children's music with a rockin' beat!  Melissa's music was selected

for the Putamayo Rock and Roll Playground CD and she has won numerous

awards, including the Parent's Choice Award.









July 24 Magician Gerald Joseph 

Experience amazing sleight of hand magic, funny sight gags,

illusions and more.









July 31 Improvisational Storyteller 

Victoria Goring 

Share in an adventure in a unique blend of storytelling and improvised

theater that will stimulate the imagination and inspire creativity!






Saturday, July 19  10:30-12:30

For ages 11-17

Space is limited.  Advanced registration is required.  Please arrive 10 minutes before the program.

Add a pop of color to your summer with this paper lantern and beaded wire sculpture class. Play with patterned paper that you can cut, fold, and collage into happy paper lanterns for your room or other fun areas. Explore an assortment of beads and wire to create wire sculptures indoors or outdoors in celebration of mobile artist Alexander Calder!



Saturday, August 2 10:30-12:30

For ages 11-18

Please arrive 10 minutes before the program. By popular demand, Irene Flores, the illustrator of the series "Mark of the Succubus," and 2 Shojo Fashion Manga drawing books, will share many facets about drawing cool looks, characters and more.  Participants are invited to bring sketchbooks. Some paper and pencils will be provided.

Treasurer's Report 
Submitted by Darlene Brainard

Through May, 2014
Adult Program       371.00
Promotional           141.00
Fundraising              62.00
Management          100.00
Total                        674.00
Lobby                        91.00
Total                          91.00



John and Diane Lehman

The Family of Vernetta Semon

Robin Powers

Virginia Powers

Audrey Hooper



New Members

Joen Kommer

Gary Elem

Marlene Pearce

Kelly Przybysz

Loretta Hudson

Kris Sullivan






President--Robert Alberti

Past President--Grenda Ernst

Vice President--Jeannie Malik

Recording Secretary--Susie Blackwell

Treasurer--Gere Sibbach

Corresponding Secretary--Audrey Hooper


Georgie Arnold, Claudia Collier, Anne Harris, Liz Helgerson, Christina Lefevre Latner, Leigh Livick, Jim Patterson, Marguerite Pulley, Alice Rew, Linda Zirk

Webmaster--Tom Thompson  heytwt@hotmail.com

Newsletter/Social Media Coordinator--Deborah Cash  debcash@macservices.net

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