Mission Statement

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

April - May
In This Issue...

President's Message
Linda Zirk 
Update from Vice President and
Dancing With Our Stars Chair
Jeannie Malik 

Library Art Programs
Eileen O'Grady   

Librarian's Message
Joe Laurenzi

Upcoming Events and Funny Pages

    Board President Linda Zirk in front of 
her favorite library right here in Atascadero--and she's seen more than a few!
President's Message

Linda Zirk
Over the past months I have been writing about the Libraries I have seen, known and loved during my lifetime.  Now it's time for me to share some thoughts with you about our own Atascadero Library.
Many people in the community made the new building on Capistrano Avenue become a reality, through fund raising, working with architects and engineers, liaising with County and City governments - all to make the space a welcoming place for all.   During the last two years Libraries in general have changed and grown.  Our Library has grown with that nationwide trend.
Technology has changed, and this has shown in the number of people using the Technology Center at the Library. There is often a waiting list to use the computers. Some patrons are using the Library internet to look for new job opportunities. Some are using it to research genealogy files.  Young people are using the computers for homework assignments.  The Library is also a quiet place where people can sit and read the magazine and newspapers we provide.  We have art work (from local artists) on the walls for people to enjoy. 

Dan Davis and Barb Kennedy
Vice President and 
Atascadero's "Dancing With Our Stars" 
Event Producer's Message

Jeannie Malik

2016 "Atascadero's Dancing with our Stars" 
A Grand Success!

Thanks to all who collaborated in making our 7th annual Atascadero: Dancing with Our Stars, "Musical Movie Magic" an enormous success. The two-night, sold-out event raised over $83,000 (prior to expenses) benefitting Atascadero Library.

Community Star Mary Kay Mills was crowned as the overall champion, raising over $15,000. Her West Coast Swing routine was choreographed by her dance partner Ernie Gamble.

Second place was awarded to Community Star 
Barb Kennedy, paired with choreographer Dan Davis. Third place was awarded to Community Star Dutch Nichols paired with choreographer Tirza DeGarmo.

Community Star Michael Bartlett, paired with choreographer Christina Troxel, was the "People's Choice" winner Friday night. Community Star Drew Lewis, paired with Sharon Davis, garnered the coveted "People's Choice" award Saturday night.
"Good Sport" trophy was awarded to choreographer Dan Davis for his multiple performances in the show.

All Community Stars were champions for the Atascadero Library- Debbie Arnold, Dennis Billings and Marnie Perry rounded out the all-star cast and performed beautifully!

This wonderful event exists because our dance professionals donate their time and talents: Artistic Director, Frank Sanchez and professional choreographers paired with our Community Stars: Dan Davis, Sharon Davis, Tirza DeGarmo, Ernie Gamble, Chris Harmon, Brian Reeves and Christina Troxel. 


Community Star Dancer Mary Kay Mills and  professional dance partner Ernie Gamble 
garnered first place in DWOS competition!
To view more photos, visit 

Poet Ben Lawless reads his poem, "Special Collections," at the library's reception for artists and poets on April 7. 

 More than 50 people attended the reception to celebrate the theme of Renewal in Art and Poetry. This exhibit continues throughout April and May.

Board Member Spotlight
Carol Collins
I am originally from Connecticut.  I moved to Los Angeles in 1992 and to Templeton in 2002.  My son is a freshman at UCSB.
I have always enjoyed reading and since moving to Templeton I have spent a lot of time at the Atascadero library.  I think it is a wonderful resource -- books, obviously, but also the programs and sense of community.  A couple of years ago I began volunteering in the library by shelving books.
I have a BA in Medieval History from UConn which required lots of reading but didn't result in a financially viable existence so I went back to school and got an MBA from the University of North Carolina.  I went on to get a CPA.  My career has been spent in financial reporting departments in large corporations and small not for profits.
I hope my financial reporting expertise can support the board as it supports the library.

Board member Spotlight
Jeanne Nealy 
I moved to Atascadero near the end of second grade. I graduated from AHS in 1978. I met my husband, Bill, during high school. We have been married for 31 years. My sons, Robert and Sam, also are AHS graduates as well as many of my nieces and nephews. Now my husband is the principal at AHS.
I recently retired early from teaching at Paso Robles High School. I taught psychology there for nearly thirty years; it was an amazing job. I decided, however, that I needed to challenge myself and have started my new career as a real estate agent.
I have always loved reading! My mom would take me to the old Atascadero Library in the Rotunda building and I took home as many books as I possibly could. I continued to devour books until my life became too full. I now have the opportunity to read again and I'm quite satisfied with this change. 
I'm joining the FOAL board because I want to give back in a way that uses my best qualities. I have a good chemistry with teens and my goal is to increase the volume of teens using their library. Teens today don't really understand the resource and gift that our library holds. So I hope to combine my love of reading and participate in events that bring awareness to our library to adolescents. In addition, I would like to support many of the worthy projects the library has been involved in.

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

The Atascadero Library is hosting a community wide reading program titled Atascadero Reads from April to June. Library staff, the Friends of the Atascadero Library and the Atascadero Unified School District are encouraging the community to read together. Our goals are to enhance literacy in the community and create discussion and learning opportunities. "People can go for days at a time not talking to anyone outside their immediate family. There are precious few opportunities for people of different ethnic backgrounds, economic levels or ages to sit down together and discuss ideas that are important to them; this project provides that opportunity." (Nancy Pearl, Director, Washington Center for the Book commenting on city-wide reading programs)

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker, was chosen by library staff, and looks at the effects on family and community through the eyes of a young girl who witnesses the slowing of the Earth's rotation. Days and nights grow longer and society has to learn to cope. The book is a cross over novel that can appeal to both adults and teens.  

Friends of Atascadero Library


John Lehman
Annette Hatzman
Christopher Neary

New Members

Sandy and Larry Fisher

Funny Pages!




President--Linda Zirk

Vice President--Jeannie Malik

Recording Secretary--Susie Blackwell

Corresponding Secretary--Carol Gobler

Treasurer--Shirley Summers

Past President--Robert Alberti

Members-- Carol Collins, Grenda Ernst, Liz Helgerson, Christina Lefevre Latner, Leigh Livick, Jeanne Nealy, Jim Patterson, Linda Persons, Marguerite Kelly-Pulley, Alice Rew, Sharon Turner

Webmaster--Tom Thompson  heytwt@hotmail.com

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


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Friends of the Library, P.O. Box 561, 
 Atascadero, CA  93423