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funding for books, CDs, videos, movies, furniture, children's & youth services programs; new technology & preserving historical documents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

Fighting Cancer in Santa Monica with Dr. René Hubert

Please join the Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library as we present Fighting Cancer in Santa Monica with Dr. René Hubert on Saturday, April 5, at 2:00 p.m. in the MLK Jr. Auditorium at the Main Library, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard.  René Hubert, Ph.D., discusses his work at Agensys, a biotech company born and raised in Santa Monica.  The company was founded in 1996 by UCLA clinicians and basic science researchers with the focus of developing biotherapeutics to treat cancer.  Dr. Hubert discusses Agensys’ cutting edge technology using novel monoclonal antibodies and antibody-drug-conjugates (ADCs) to provide therapeutics for unmet medical needs.  René Hubert has a Ph.D. in molecular biology from USC and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in medical genetics at Cedars-Sinai and UCLA.  He started his career at Agensys as a gene hunter, and is currently group leader for the antibody generation and production group in the Research Department there.  This event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and on a first arrival basis.  The Santa Monica Public Library is wheelchair accessible.  For special disabled services, call Library Administration at (310) 458-8606 at least one week prior to event.  For more information, visit smpl.org or contact the Santa Monica Public Library at (310) 458-8600.

Rene Hubert

New Librarian

City of Santa Monica NEWS

March 14, 2014

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – City Manager Rod Gould announced today that Maria Taesil Hudson Carpenter,  Director of Libraries from Somerville, Massachusetts has been tapped to lead the Santa Monica Public Library. Carpenter was chosen after a six-month, nationwide search. Once the hiring process is finalized, she will take charge of Santa Monica’s library system in June 2014.

With extensive experience managing library services and programs, Carpenter has covered the spectrum of library posts from, academic to public, and from instruction to collaborations with community partners. She has a strong track record in leadership, innovation and obtaining grants. Prior to directing the libraries at the City of Somerville, Carpenter served as Director of Library Advancement, Marketing and Communications for Northeastern University in Boston, MA.

“I am delighted that Maria Taesil Hudson Carpenter will be joining the City of Santa Monica,” said Rod Gould. “She has a proven track record as a collaborator, innovator and advocate, and is highly regarded as a team player. She is a dynamo, and her ability to work closely with staff, colleagues and the community will have a great impact on our city. We are fortunate to have her ability to lead and create an exciting vision for our public libraries.”
“The Santa Monica Public Library is a civic gem,” Gould noted.  “The outstanding quality of its facilities, services and staff is nationally renowned.  I have no doubt that Maria will  help us achieve our fifth straight year as a five-star-rated public library, and more.”
“I am delighted to be joining an outstanding group of people working and volunteering for the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Public Library,” said Carpenter. “I very much look forward to leading Santa Monica’s award winning library system, getting to know its people, cultures, and neighborhoods, and together, envisioning the next stage of innovative library services that will optimally serve the community.”
“Ms. Carpenter gives every indication of being a perfect fit for the Library and the community,” said Wright Rix, Acting City Librarian. “New England winters notwithstanding, the many parallels between Santa Monica and Boston are quite resonant. Ms. Carpenter’s educational achievements, relevant work experience and professional vision have impressed all of us.”
The City sought candidates for the City Librarian position from across the nation. The top two performers had interviews with the City Manager and key staff from multiple departments, including the Library management team.
Carpenter succeeds retired City Librarian Greg Mullen.

As City Librarian, Carpenter will receive a salary of $186,648. She will manage an annual budget of over $12 million and more than 200 employees. The Library Department is comprised of a main library and three neighborhood branches. A new neighborhood library, the Pico Branch, will open soon in Virginia Avenue Park.
Carpenter has received nationwide recognition in her profession and holds a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theater from Ohio Wesleyan University. She will soon achieve her PhD in Managerial Leadership in the Information Professions from Simmons College, which is reputed to be one of the top schools in the country in

Digitization Of The Santa Monica Outlook

Digitizing the historic Santa Monica Outlook newspaper is one of the projects that The Friends takes pride in helping fund.  The first online issue is October 13, 1875.  The most recent one is now September 30, 1929.

Here is a little background from Acting City Librarian Wright Rix:
The digitization of the years 1875-1910 of the Santa Monica Outlook was made possible by a Library Services and Technologies Act (LSTA) grant administered by the California State Library. This initial collection debuted in 2009.  Digitizing the newspaper had been an objective of the library since the 1990s.  The LSTA grant was key in finally getting this project rolling.  One sad truth about grant funding is that it goes pretty much exclusively to supporting brand new projects and programs.  Therefore, once that part of the Outlook came online, no further grant support was available.  Fortunately, the Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library threw their support behind this project and funded it generously in from 2010-2013.

The Friends are excited about continuing our support for this project and preserving our Santa Monica history.

Take a look at some of the headlines from 1929.

July 5, 1929