Among Friends: December. 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.
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Books for Everyone


The holidays are a terrific time to visit the Friends' Bookshop, located just to the right of the doors into Orinda Library. Do you have relatives or friends with small children coming to your house? For the price of a single new video, you could leave with your arms loaded with beautiful picture books. For your friend who reads so much you never know what he's finished, a gift certificate would be a smart way to put the pleasure of choosing into his hands. And, of course, nobody knows as well as you which book would be your ideal companion on the plane, in the train, in the back room where you have found at last a bit of delicious quiet. Perhaps now you have a moment to treat yourself to Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels, which form the basis of the new HBO series, "My Brilliant Friend." Brilliant friend? Hey, that sounds like you, shopping at the library bookshop. 


If you're looking for FOL President Nancy Ross-Madnick, try the sorting room for the Friends bookshop. Over the years, she has logged many hours there, marshaling order from the chaos of donations. An avid reader, Nancy has always been drawn to the Friends' book sales. She fondly remembers the giant sales held in the parking lot of the old library site, though, as a trained architect, she especially appreciates the light-filled design of the library's current space. A member of the Friends for more than 15 years, Nancy served three stints as vice president before taking the helm. Her goal this year: "To raise awareness of the Friends, make sure the community knows that we really do serve a vital purpose, and we need the support of the community to do what we do to support the library." Nancy works two days a week marketing and leasing commercial space for New Look Properties. On her nightstand: selections for two book groups. For a group she formed over 20 years ago from the parents of a playgroup, she's reading Kristin Hannah's Alaska novel, The Great Alone. For a family book group, which meets twice a year to discuss one fiction and one nonfiction book, her homework is Amor Towles' A Gentleman in Moscow and Rebecca Traister's Good and Mad. "Waiting in the wings," she says, is a novel her daughter recommended: Pachinko. All but one of these books, she notes, she bought at the Friends bookshop. 
Personal Finance


Think about the Friends for your yearend charitable giving!

We have many Friends members who send us a check in December. We truly appreciate your thoughtfulness! And we want to remind you of a couple of other tax-advantaged ways to make donations to the Friends before the end of the year.


When you donate shares of stock to the Friends of the Orinda Library, the following benefits occur:

  • You incur no out-of-pocket cost;
  • You incur no capital gains tax on the sale of the stock;
  • The Friends of the Orinda Library receive the full value of the stock when the stock is sold;
  • You receive a tax deduction for the full amount of the stock (the average of the high and low prices on the day the stock is delivered), not just your cost when you purchased the stock.

For more information on making a stock donation to the Friends, contact Friends' Treasurer Linda Landau at


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 qualified charities.  

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

Colorful Contribution


Among the varied activities and responsibilities of the Friends is keeping the library looking fresh and updated. We have undertaken colorful painting projects in the toddler, children’s and teen alcove areas and have reupholstered nearly every chair in the library since opening in 2001. 

Our latest design contribution was to have vibrant, durable pillows fabricated in three primary colors for the carpeted steps in the toddler area so that parents/caregivers could be more comfortable. The fabric is 100% polyurethane, stain and ink resistant, and antibacterial. Pillows are backed with a breathable, durable cotton fabric. 

Stop by and take a look!


Floral Design for Everyday and the Holidays

Wednesday, Dec. 5, 1pm
Community Center Rm 6

Whether you're trying to make something special for the holidays or just brightening up your home, Phoebe Kahl and Diana Kennedy will offer tips and tricks on how to bring your floral arrangements to the next level. Attendees will automatically be entered in a drawing to take home some of the arrangements. Kahl and Kennedy have been studying Ikebana with Soho Sakai at the Orinda Community Center for about 25 years. Garden Club of America judges in floral design, they have represented the Orinda Garden Club at the de Young Museum's Bouquets to Art showcase. 

**Sponsored by the Friends of the Orinda Library

Fratello Marionettes

Tuesday, Dec. 11, 10:30am

"The North Pole Revue" is a winter delight for the family! This production features the ice skating of Crystal Chandelier, the high-kicking antics of Russian Trepak dancers, and a trio of acrobatic penguins.

**Sponsored by the Friends of the Orinda Library

Drum Program for Small Children

Wednesday, Dec. 12, 10:30am

The Malicounda Dance Company will help young children explore West African culture through rhythm, movement, songs, and games. Designed for toddlers and preschoolers, this free program is open to all ages.

**Sponsored by the Friends of the Orinda Library

Noon Year's Eve Celebration

Monday, Dec. 31, 11am

For those unable to stay up till midnight, come celebrate New Year's Eve a little early with a craft, countdown and dancing!

**Sponsored by the Friends of the Orinda Library



Here's a happy way to warm your winter hours–in the company of The Library Book, hot off the press by Susan Orlean. This nonfiction title by the author of The Orchid Thief tells the story behind our nation's worst library fire, which claimed over 400,000 volumes in Los Angeles in 1986. The beautifully written, spellbinding account "bursts with incredible tales and characters,” says literary luminary Dave Eggers. Indeed, Orlean has done exhaustive research to weave in fascinating information in this soul-expanding book. A “dazzling love letter to a beloved institution,” writes the Washington Post. Recommended by FOL Board Member Jane Zuercher. 
Librarians Choose


The Chicago Public Library has announced its Best Books of 2018. Click on any image to find your copy at Orinda Library or submit a hold request. Bay Area shout out to There There's author, Oakland-born and raised Tommy Orange.

Across the Road


Throughout December, Orinda Books will continue to direct proceeds of its Blind Date with a Book program to help fire victims. In exchange for a nominal donation, buyers in the Blind Date with a Book program choose among plain-wrapped volumes with only a handwritten clue as to the contents. For instance, the cover might read, "a heartwarming coming-of-age tale set in 1930s Chicago." Orinda Books matches donations dollar for dollar. The store has already raised over $1,700 for The California Wildfire Relief Fund.
If there is a heaven, one of the many mansions it must contain is a red brick Victorian building, all wood and shelves, waiting for me. And the shelves will be filled with books by beloved authors, as good as or better than the ones I knew. I will read my way through the adult library, and then, to attain perfect bliss, I will enter the children’s library, and never need to leave it.
—Neil Gaiman

Stock Up for the Holidays!

Bookshop Hours

1:00pm to 4:00pm

1:00pm to 6:00pm

1:00pm to 4:00pm

Autumn Surge

Patrons checked out nearly 15,000 items from Orinda Library in October. That's almost a quarter of all items checked out this year.

You Can Help

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

Library Closures

Monday, December 24 
Tuesday, December 25
Tuesday, January 1

Closing early (5pm)
Monday, December 31

Ongoing Events
in December

Thursdays, 1pm and 2pm, Dec. 6, 13 and 20

Get help on computer matters from a knowledgeable volunteer. Focus on beginning users. Registration required. Register here or call (925) 254-2184.

Thursdays, Dec. 6 and 13, 1pm

Local volunteer ESL teachers lead group discussions with ESL learners. Free and open to all. Come practice English with us! Group Study Room A
Friday, Dec. 21, 3pm

Join the Orinda Mystery Book Club to uncover and discuss a new mystery book each month. Meetings every third Friday of the month. Because last month's meeting was cancelled due to heavy fire smoke, this month's selection remains Acceptable Loss by Anne Perry. Group Study Room A


Tuesday, Dec. 11, 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

Children/Teen Programs

Mondays, 2:30pm
Dec. 3–Hour of Code
Dec. 10–Holiday Candles
Dec. 17–Minecraft
Dec. 24–Surprise
Tuesday, Dec. 4;
Wednesday, Dec. 5
Gallery Room

For kids 18-36 months.

Tuesday, Dec. 4; 
Wednesday, Dec. 5
Gallery Room

For kids newborn to 18 months

Tuesday, Dec. 18, 11:30am
Gallery Room

For kids newborn to 3 years; siblings welcome.

Wednesday, Dec. 19, 10am
Gallery Room

For kids 0 to 5.

Wednesday, Dec. 26, 10am
Gallery Room

Geared to toddlers but all ages welcome. 

Friday, Dec. 7, 4pm
Group Study Room A

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.

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