February 2012

Friends of the Library table at the Digital Bookmobile event.

April 2007

Taiko drumming at A Million More celebration.

May 2012

James Webb Space Telescope program speaker Dr. Mark Clampin.

March 2010

Montana Ave. Branch 50th Anniversary celebration.

  • Who are the friends

    We are a nonprofit, community organization established for charitable and educational purposes. Our members support the library through fund raising and volunteer activities.

  • What we do

    We operate and manage the SMPL book store and branch library book sales. We encourage public use and support of the library. We supplement funding for books, CDs, videos, movies, furniture, children's & youth services programs; new technology & preserving historical documents

  • Friends money at work

    Your money helps us to sustain these successful, ongoing projects: Citywide Reads, Additions to Santa Monica's Image Archive Collection, Library Staff Recognition Events, Mailings of Friends Newsletter Check-It-Out, Volunteer Recognition Celebration.

Friends News

The Bookstore’s sales reach 95K

The bookstore ends its 9th Fiscal Year with sales amounting to about $95,000.  The year was a  good one,  with the book store enabling the Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library to sponsor programs for the library and the Santa Monica Community.  This most satisfying contribution to our library is only achieved with the help of our amazing volunteers.   Thanks to every volunteer who makes the bookstore a working addition to the Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library.

The Complete Costume History – Rare Book

The Friends Bookstore had a new rare book come in.   It is a beautiful book of costumes.  The Complete Costume History by Auguste Racinet was originally published in France between 1876-1888. This edition is quite large at 18x12x5 and is nearly 10 pounds.  It is in almost new condition.  We are asking $75. Please contact the Friends Bookstore for more information.

POWERHOUSE: a two-day project presented by the Teen Advisory Council

With much thanks to Ivy Weston, our Teen Services Supervisor, here is a long overdue post about a recent project funded by the FRIENDS.

On Saturday, March 15, from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Main Library, the Teen Council taught local kids to make three energy-themed crafts during “Powerhouse: A Day of Energy-Themed Makerspace Workshops.”
The workshops were each 90 minutes long. They were:

- Solar Ovens: Kids made a solar oven out of a pizza box, decorated it with a variety of craft supplies, then took the solar oven out in the sun and made s’mores. It was a hot day and the s’mores cooked pretty quickly, in about 10-20 minutes.

- Light-Up Cuff Bracelets: Using felt, a coin-sized battery, a battery pack, LED lights and conductive thread (thread coated in silver), kids sewed a bracelet that lit up! All of the parts, including the metal-snap fasteners, made a circuit, and when the bracelet was fastened, it lit up! The kids also had the opportunity to decorate their bracelets with felt shapes, buttons, and sequins.

- Bristlebots: The kids made a simple robot out of a battery pack, a motor from a disposable children’s electric toothbrush, and toothbrush heads. Once constructed, the bots scoot around on the toothbrush heads when the battery is inserted. It was very simple, with no soldering required. Kids decorated their bots with chenille stems (“pipe cleaners”) and googly eyes, and the teens built an arena out of a pizza box; the kids had great fun having bristlebot battles in the arena.

The following Saturday, March 22, the Council presented “Powerhouse Part II: Project Exhibition” in the Main Library Multipurpose Room from 2-4 p.m. Examples of each of the three products were on display, there were refreshments for the public (including s’mores made in the solar ovens under lamps), bristlebot battles, and a slideshow of photographs from the workshop day (taken by a Teen Council member).

The teens learned to make the three projects under the leadership of Jonathan Bijur, an as-needed Reference Librarian at SMPL and a makerspace expert who works with teens at Virginia Avenue Park on maker activities and leads a summer tinkering camp. Leading up to the March events, the Teen Council met weekly and worked hard to learn the three projects and practice teaching them. The Council is large this year – 16 teens – so I broke them into groups. Everyone learned to do all three projects, but each group taught its own workshop, with the other Council members helping the kids.

Not only was this a lot of fun, but STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education is big in schools right now, so it was fun to be able to present crafts that helped kids learn STEM skills. Also, makerspaces (crafts areas or programs that focus on STEM crafts like robotics, computer programming, etc.) are big in libraries right now, so offering Powerhouse also helped us stay on-trend with what’s going on in libraries today.

The idea to do makerspaces programming for the Teen Council project was decided upon by the Council while Erica Cuyugan, the current Fairview Branch Manager, was still Teen Services Supervisor, so she deserves credit as well.