Inspiring Programs are Worth Funding

Santa Monica Reads 2023

Let’s read together! The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee.

We are excited to support Santa Monica Reads in its 21st year. First launched in 2002 Santa Monica Reads is a community reading program that provides an opportunity for people to engage, read and discuss the same book through guided conversation in discussion groups and special programs held throughout the city. 

This year the program explores The Sum of Us, Heather McGhee’s 2022 book that challenges racism’s zero-sum paradigm and offers the Solidarity Dividend as a path forward to equality and inclusion.

The annual program will run from May 1 through June 2, 2023 and will feature a special keynote address by the author, Heather McGhee on May 18, 2023. For more details about this program and everything Santa Monica Reads check out this year’s resource guide.

Santa Monica Reads All Summer Long 2023

Welcome babies, kids, teens, adults, and everyone!

Santa Monica Reads All Summer will run from June 10 through August 12.


The Library’s annual Summer Reading Program helps prevent the “summer slide” by ensuring that youth retain reading and learning skills over the school break. For adults, it allows them to improve their focus, memory and communication skills while joining in on the fun.


We are proud to continue to provide funding for this valuable annual reading program. This year we are supporting by purchasing two giveaway books for adults, Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara & Lady Tan’s Circle of Women by Lisa See, as well as giveaway prizes for all who complete the program.


Visit the Main Library, Pico Branch, or Montana Branch to sign up and receive a reading log, starting June 10.  For more information visit 

What We Fund: A Gallery

Soundwaves New Music
Career Online High School Graduates
Summer Reading 2022

Arts & Literacy Festival

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 into the hands of those in need and saying the words to get young people to open them.

The preview night 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 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 promote 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.

Book Group in a Box

Calling all book lovers!  Tired of rushing to the library for your latest book club read only to find yourself on a long waitlist?  Looking to start a book group but are intimated about where to start?  A Book Group in a Box kit contains everything your book group needs to enjoy reading and discussing your next book.  Unless otherwise noted in the catalog, each kit contains 9 copies of a title, with one copy being large print.  Additionally, the kit contains one information packet containing:  Discussion Questions & Author Biography, How to Facilitate a Book Group & Book Group FAQ.  Visit for currently available kits. The Friends is proud to offer its support to this fantastic new addition to the collection.


Summer Reading Program

Help end summer brain drain and replace it with a skill-building joyful Summer of Reading.  Become A Friend today and your donation will directly support

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Santa Monica Reads

2019 marks the seventeenth year of this community reading event, one of the longest-running programs of its kind in the United States.  SANTA MONICA READS

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