Friends of Saratoga Libraries Celebrates 50th Anniversary – The Mercury News


Friends of Saratoga Libraries have a lot to celebrate this year. The nonprofit is in its 50th year supporting the Saratoga Library, and the city of Saratoga honors the group as Volunteer Organization of the Year.

The group raises money to donate to the Saratoga Library, located at 13650 Saratoga Ave., each year through memberships, direct donations and used book sales, says Liz Guy, director of the Communication from Friends.

“Most of the time the money is used for programs,” Guy said. “We pay for programs that are offered at the library, and other materials, collections and other things when we can, and larger capital equipment like furniture.”

This year, the group donated $150,000 to the library, one of its largest donations to date.

Guy says most of the funds come from the sale of used books. Volunteers sell used books at Book-Go-Round, located at 14410 Oak St.

“I think one of the things we’ve seen is during COVID we’ve actually had a very generous surge in book donations, which is the bread and butter. We turn those donations into money for the library,” says Guy. “I think people were at home, clearing out their shelves.”

The pandemic has caused a drop in book sales and volunteerism, but Guy says the organization has returned to its normal pre-pandemic level of operation.

“We really want to grow our membership and include more community members in our membership,” says Guy, “because participation means the community embraces your mission and thinks your work is meaningful. »

Friends will be recognized as Saratoga’s Volunteer Organization of the Year at the State of the City event on Saturday, October 1 at the Joan Pisani Community Center, located at 19655 Allendale Ave.

The anniversary and recognition comes as the group prepares to celebrate National Friends of Libraries Week October 16-20. Guy says the group will raise awareness and encourage more members of the community to sign up as members or donate.

The organization has around 60 to 80 local volunteers who donate their time to work on the Book-Go-Round or to raise funds.

The Friends of Saratoga Libraries, which earned their name when the city had more than one library, are part of a nationwide organization of library support groups under the United for Libraries banner. The Saratoga band formed in 1972.

To join Friends, visit


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