About UsFriends of the Livermore Library History

Our History

In 1978, after Proposition 13 eliminated the district tax that partially supported the Livermore Library, a charter group of 18 city residents formed the Friends of the Livermore Library (FOLL) as a non-profit corporation. Between the Friends’ inception and 2009, we have donated more than $450,000 to the Livermore Public Library for equipment, repairs, books, supplies, programs, awards and education. FOLL began with 54 members and our net worth was $700. The Friends donated their first major gifts in 1980: a microfilm reader-printer, a sign-making machine, a 16mm movie projector, and a 35mm slide projector. In 1981 FOLL furnished the Library with its first computer, an Apple II Plus. FOLL was instrumental in the development of our two branch libraries. In 1984 the Friends donate $5,000 for the Springtown branch site preparation, and from 1988 to 1991, they provided the funds for the Open Air Library at May Nissen Park. In 1986, FOLL provided the funds to start a literacy project — Project READ.

FOLL committed to working for the passage of Bond Measure L, a joint effort with Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District and Livermore Area Recreation & Park District to secure funding for a new Community Center, funds to maintain public school buildings, and a new 45,000 square foot Civic Center Library. With the passage of the bond measure, $20M was provided to build the new library, which is three times the size of its predecessor. The new library design included a dedicated room for the Friends Corner. In 2000, the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program formed a YAV Council with outstanding YAVs from each library branch. The Council developed the BookMark volunteer program, in which Senior YAVs listen to elementary school children report on the books they read in the Summer Reading Game. 132 YAVs donated 2,152 hours at all four library sites during the summer of that year. In 2007, FOLL underwrote the first Livermore Reads Together program. The Library staff chose Zorro, by Isabel Allende, for its appropriateness to the Livermore community. The book is available in English and Spanish, and there is an adapted book for children entitled Young Zorro, The Iron Brand. Funds donated by the Friends purchased multiple copies of the book, film rights to Zorro films for showing in the library, and fees for a live performance. Programs included talks on local history of the time covered in the story, family events, storytelling, craft programs.