Meet Friends board member Jo Winzenread

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What are your earliest memories of reading and books?FAL Board Member Jo Winzenread

Our local library in our small Georgia town had a summer reading program every year. By the time I was 7 or 8, I had read all of the children’s books available. But when I tried to check out adult books, I was denied permission to do so! I also remember being punished when I was in second grade for reading our school book ahead. I did it anyway, but didn’t tell my teacher.

Do you enjoy “actual” books? Ebooks?

I read both. I much prefer “actual” books, but when I travel, it is really great to have several books on an e-reader.

What are you reading these days?

The Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles, Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser. I am also reading several international mysteries.

You are hosting a literary dinner party in your favorite Alameda restaurant. Which authors (alive, dead or imaginary) would you invite and why?

Wouldn’t it be fun to sit down and chat with Mark Twain and Theodore Roosevelt? They would be lively conversationalists, talk about the wild west, conservation, and the Rough Riders. We’d have to go to a meat-serving restaurant, like Tommy’s Joynt in San Francisco and have bison burgers.

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

I’ve been a member of the Friends for at least 10 years, with Honora Murphy, Eleanor Stalman, Carol Smart, and others in the community who wanted a new library. I was a member of the friends before it combined with the Free Library Foundation.

What are your hopes for the future of the Alameda Free Library?

I’m hoping it will continue to expand and provide even more community outreach programs to the people in Alameda.  The library provides great programs and they need to be publicized even more than they are. I love the fact that the Alameda Free Library supports a couple of little libraries and have story-book walks in the parks. There are also story hours for children in several languages.