Inspiring Programs Are Worth Funding

Librarians are navigators, search-engines, advisors, technologists, teachers, advocates, free speech protectors, and self-help gurus all wrapped up behind a friendly face.  They need Friends to support them as they evolve our libraries into community hubs that promote literacy, teach 21st-Century skills, connect people to people, inspire creativity, preserve our history, and connect the homeless to essential services.

The Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library is a non-profit, community-based volunteer organization dedicated to supporting our Libraries by funding programs and activities across all branches.  Become a Friend today and support the beloved programs such as

Summer Reading for All Ages

From quality time reading between parents and toddlers, school-age children avoiding the summer slide with books they love, and adults savoring the simple pleasure of a good book, the Santa Monica Public Library has a Summer Reading Program for everyone. Visit your local Library Branch and SMPL at the Beach for special programs, activities, and prizes provided through the support of the Friends.

Santa Monica Reads

Let’s read together! Santa Monica Reads is a community reading program that invites Santa Monica residents and visitors to read the same book and then come together in book discussions and special events to talk about it.

SMPL at the Beach

Support bookish fun in the sun with SMPL at the Beach, Southern California’s only seaside pop-up library! Participants join the Library on the beach for a fun-filled day of family-friendly activities like Seaside Storytime and Nautical Crafts, sign out books from a curated collection of beach reads, enjoy games like bocce and ladder toss, or kick back, relax and read in the shade of a Surfside Lounge.

Dia Celebration and Arts & Literacy Festival

Día Celebration and the Arts & Literacy Festival celebrates the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. It links children and their families to diverse books, languages, and cultures. Participants enjoy author talks, story times, educational activities and a free children’s book provided by the Friends at the Arts & Literacy Festival.

Fierce Friday

Fierce Friday is produced in collaboration with YALLWEST and Fierce Reads, Macmillan Books’ imprint for young adult readers. YALLWEST was born at the Santa Monica Public Library in 2015 and quickly grew to become the largest young adult book festival in the United States. The non-profit annual event is an author-and teen-run young adult and middle-grade book festival, with the goal of getting books in the hands of those in need and saying the words to get young people to open them.

The preview night event at Santa Monica Public Library gives readers a chance to meet their favorite authors in person the night before the YALLWEST festival, which takes place on the Santa Monica High School campus. In addition to helping to fund Fierce Friday, the Friends Bookstore remains open for shopping during the preview event.  Friends are also invited to volunteer during this event.

Teen Councils

Mentoring the next generation of Library supporters, the Friends fund Teen Advisory Councils at numerous branches. The Councils promotes library use and community involvement by teens. Participants serve as the voice of teens, plan publicize, and sponsor programs in the library of interest to teens. They give input and suggestions to the library concerning teen-related activities, selection of books and other materials for the Young Adult section, and input on design and content of the teen webpage. We are grateful for their contributions and leadership.

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