Meet FAL board member Eileen Savel

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What are your earliest memories of reading and books?FAL Board Member Eileen Savel

I remember my mother reading Robert Louis Stevenson poems from his collection, “A Child’s Garden of Verses” to me at the age of four. I enjoyed hearing “The Swing”, “The Land of Counterpane” and “My Shadow”. As a child, I loved walking to our neighborhood library, having my own library card, and choosing my own books to read. Our librarian made good suggestions and encouraged us youngsters to read often.

Do you enjoy “actual” books? Ebooks? I prefer to read “actual” print books, but think it’s wonderful that our library offers many different options for patrons.

What are you reading these days?  I am reading “Strangers in Their Own Land” by Arlie Russell Hochschild. Hochschild is an influential sociologist from Berkeley, CA who visits with and befriends locals in Lake Charles, Louisiana for several years. She studies the country’s deep political divide, and shares over 13 of her interviews.

You are hosting a literary dinner party in your favorite Alameda restaurant. Which authors (alive, dead or imaginary) would you invite and why? This is a difficult question to answer because I like so many authors and so many restaurants. I would invite Wallace Stegner, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Haas, Grace Paley, Robert Frost, and chef/author Alice Waters of Chez Panisse fame.

Tell us a bit about your personal involvement with the Friends, the Free Library Foundation…

I am grateful to volunteer with a wonderful team dedicated to raising funds for our libraries’ many needs. Our team also facilitates amazing events for children and adults. Much of my energy goes toward finding excellent musicians for our Fall Live@theLibrary concert series. This year I joined the many volunteers for our library book sales. The Book Sale is so much fun and produces excellent revenue which is used to support our library. I highly recommend Live@theLibrary and the book sale to anyone wanting a way to volunteer in Alameda!

What are your hopes for the future of the Alameda Free Library?  I hope that our library remains a vital resource for our community, and that we explore new opportunities such as a county consortium, enabling us to expand and grow our offerings.