Among Friends: June 2018. You are receiving this email because either you are a member of the Friends of the Orinda Library, or because you subscribed to our newsletter on our website.
View this email in your browser
June 2018


It's go time! To maintain full services at Orinda Library, mail in your ballot or vote in person June 5 for Measure J! Turnout for summer elections is always lower, so your vote matters even more than usual.

Measure J has been endorsed by the East Bay Times and will cost only another 8.2 cents a day to keep the library open, maintain the building, and make sure we can continue providing programs that attract all Orinda residents. Measure J needs a two-thirds vote, so be sure to find it at the bottom of the third page of your ballot, and vote YES! Thanks for your support!
Seasonal Treat  


Swimming pools, popsicles, bare feet. Summer has its distinctive delights, and for Orinda's young readers, one of the season's great pleasures is the launch of the summer reading program. This year's challenge kicks off June 4. Dubbed "Reading Takes You Everywhere," the reading program also includes prompts for educational activities such as learning to say hello in a different language or trying a food from another culture. Participants have until August 4 to complete reading and activity "passports" in exchange for a free book and a chance at raffle prizes such as a GoPro camera, wireless Powerbeats or a gift card to Benihana. Look for programs at Orinda Library tied to the travel theme, including a performance by Richmond-based Aztec dance troupe Teokalli, whose name means "House of Creation" in the Nahuatl language. Saturday June 9 2:30pm on the Library Plaza. 
Member Spotlight 


When you see something beautiful in or around Orinda Library, go ahead and thank Jane Zuercher. Chances are, she was involved. For more than a decade, Jane has served as the Friends’ delegate to Art in Public Places, the community committee that brings outdoor sculptures to Orinda. Much of this artwork finds a home around Orinda Library, including the fountain’s leaping frog and the colorful whirling peacock. Jane goes all over in search of potential art loans; she found the pensive spider pictured with her in Walnut Creek's Ruth Bancroft Gardens. She is also largely responsible for the warm, coordinated look inside Orinda Library. Drawing on her background in interior design, Jane finds just the right materials to freshen worn areas and seating. A one-woman design shop, she locates the fabrics, hires skilled artisans at nonprofit prices and occasionally lugs the finished goods into place —all as a labor of love. Look for Jane’s recent contributions in the lovely spiral-patterned lounge chairs near the children’s area, the distinctive soft towers by the information desk and the new carpeting throughout the library. For two decades, Jane coordinated the Friends’ silent auction, researching, displaying and selling unusually valuable donated books. An Orinda native, she attended elementary school in what is now Orinda Community Center. Jane has donated her time to the Friends of the Orinda Library for more than 25 years. On her nightstand: nonfiction, including The Soul of an Octopus, Priestdaddy, and Dave Eggers’ Monk of Mokha, but the book she can't stop talking about is Educated: A Memoir (see Summer Book Picks, below). 


Orinda's Own Real Alaska Reality Show
Thursday, June 7, 4pm

Thirty years after graduating from Miramonte High School (Class of '75), Laura Melohn Emerson moved to a small log cabin in the middle of the Alaska woods, a 20-minute flight from the nearest road. Now she and her husband enjoy bear meat and foraged greens, preceded by a kayaking happy hour with homemade wine and beer. Join us for Emerson’s presentation about this very different, very intentional life. Co-sponsored by the City of Orinda and the Orinda Library. For more information about Emerson's life off the grid, check out her blog at alaskauu1.blogspotcom.

Intro to Genetic Genealogy
Thursday June 21, 11am

Thinking about buying a DNA kit but not sure which brand to get? Wondering how the results can help you with your genealogy? Join Linda Harms Okazaki for this introduction to genetic genealogy. A past president of the California Genealogical Society, Okazaki is passionate about teaching people how to trace their roots.

**Sponsored by the Friends of the Orinda Library

Teens: Make Magnets or Buttons

Friday, June 22, 4pm
Group Study Room A

Make buttons and magnets for yourself and your friends. Bring in your own photos or cut them out from magazines we provide. 

**Sponsored by the Friends of the Orinda Library
May We Recommend?


Even better than finding a great book is sharing it! To kick off the summer reading season, the Friends have gathered an armload of books worth making a claim on your free hours. 

"One of my all-time favorite books!" says incoming Friends President Nancy Ross-Madnick of Kristin Hannah's novel, The Nightingale, "a beautifully written story about two sisters living in France during World War II." 


Member at Large Elle Hoffnagel offers a nonfiction look into the same period with Lynne Olson's Citizens of London: The Americans who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour. "Read how three men—John Gilbert Winant, Edward R. Murrow, and Averell Harriman—contributed to the war effort in Europe prior to the U.S. becoming involved in World War II," invites Elle, who dubs Citizens "well-researched" and "an engaging read about a period of our history that I knew very little about."  


For a gritty chapter of American history, Recording Secretary Fran Strykowski recommends David Grann's Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, which she describes as "an absolutely fascinating story about the murders of Osage in Oklahoma in the 20s to get their oil rights and a history of the early days of the FBI."

"A young girl moves from California to New York to go work at the flagship cooking magazine, Delicious, which is housed in a preserved old mansion in New York City. When the magazine suddenly goes under, she is the sole staff member who stays behind to answer the phones to honor the magazine’s well-known fool-proof recipe guarantee. She gets to know one of the persnickety regular callers, finds a hidden library in a secret room, goes on a treasure hunt to find a series of wartime letters written to James Beard, and so much more," says Graphic Design Chair Michelle Bea of Ruth Reichl's novel, Delicious, which she pronounces "a thoroughly delightful read!" 

Tara Westover's  Educated: A Memoir, earns raves from both Arts Committee Chair Jane Zuercher and Treasurer Linda Landau. "I was mesmerized," says Jane, "by this heart-wrenching, yet inspirational story of a young woman growing up in a  dysfunctional family." "A riveting story—I couldn't put it down," writes Linda, about the true story of a woman who was "raised in a fundamentalist family in Idaho, never went to school through age 16, and now has a PhD from Cambridge."

And, as a treat, Linda recommends Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld: "A contemporary retelling of Pride and Prejudice. So clever!" 

Look for more suggestions from our enthusiastic readers next month. Meanwhile, if you'd like to spread the word about a great book, write to
Financial Advice 



Last month’s newsletter included an item about making a donation to the Friends using your IRA. We apologize for a typo that was in the item: the annual limit for such donations is $100,000, not $10,000. The corrected information is below. Another thing to know is that, recently, some IRA custodians (including Schwab and Vanguard) began allowing IRA holders to keep a checkbook and write checks for these donations themselves.  Donors must keep good records in order to calculate the deductible portion. Check with your IRA custodian for details.


Use your IRA for a donation to the Friends!

If you’re age 70 ½ or older, and have an IRA account, you must take a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from your IRA every year. If you’re fortunate enough not to need all of that RMD for living expenses, you can lower your taxable income by donating a part of the RMD (up to $100,000 per year) directly from your IRA account to a qualified charity.  

Any part of the RMD that is sent directly from your IRA custodian to a qualified charity will not be included in your taxable income that year. A gift that you make from RMD funds does not qualify for the exemption—it must go directly from the IRA custodian to the charity. Reducing your taxable income reduces the amount of tax you pay.

The Friends of the Orinda Library is a 501(c)(3) charity, and is eligible to receive such gifts from IRA accounts. If this sounds like a good idea to you, contact your IRA custodian to ask about making such a gift (called a Qualified Charitable Contribution, or QCD). The Friends' tax ID is 94-6102921.

Questions? Contact Friends' Treasurer Linda Landau at

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
— Margaret Mead

Bookshop Hours

1pm to 4pm

1pm to 6pm

1pm to 4pm

We Want You

If you can spare just three hours a month, you could play a vital role in running the Friends Bookshop. To find a shift that fits your schedule, contact Linda McCartt at (925) 377-0979 or email us today.

Ongoing Events
in June

Thursdays, 1pm

Local volunteer ESL teachers lead group discussions with ESL learners. Free and open to all. Come talk and learn English with us! Group Study Room A
Friday, June 15, 3pm

Join the Orinda Mystery Book Club to uncover and discuss a new mystery book. Meetings every third Friday of the month. This month's selection is Death in Veracruz by Héctor Aguilar Camín. Group Study Room A


Tuesday, June 12 and 26, 6:30pm
Meet with a friendly group of beginning writers in a supportive environment to motivate, critique and inspire one another. Share two pages of your writing (any genre) and get feedback from the group. Group Study Room A


Thursday, June 28, 7pm

Join this lively group to tell or listen. This is storytelling for adults with a featured teller every month. Garden Room.

**Programs sponsored by the Friends of the Orinda Library.

Children/Teen Programs

Monday June 4, 2:30pm
Mondays thereafter, 12pm

Drop in and create! Whether it's crafting, coding, Legos or Minecraft, there will be something fun going on.
Gallery Room

For kids 18-36 months

Gallery Room

For kids newborn to 18 months

Wednesdays, June 14, 21 and 28, 2:30pm. 

Early readers can practice with the perfect audience: therapy dogs! Call or stop by beforehand to reserve a 20-minute spot for a child.

**Sponsored by the Friends of the Orinda Library 

Check the library website for a full list of events coming up at the Orinda Library.

Copyright © 2018 Friends of the Orinda Library, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp