President’s Message – March 2023

posted in: News, President's Message
Karen Butter
Karen Butter, FAL Board President

With thanks to our supporters and music lovers, our first Live @ the Library concert was a remarkable success. The sold-out concert featured the outstanding jazz singer Jackie Ryan accompanied by the incredible jazz pianist Tamir Hendelman performing music about Love. The audience was captivated by the artistry of the pair and the quality of their performance. Attendees socialized before the concert and at intermission. Many took the opportunity to shop for books at BFF, which had special opening hours for concert attendees. We look forward to seeing everyone at our next concert on March 25!

On February 14, the New York Times featured a charming article, A Love Letter to Libraries, which documented the changing roles of libraries and librarians in seven states. No longer represented by ‘the quiet old lady whispering hush,’ photos featured lively children catching bubbles, books being delivered to seniors, a group of teens playing guitars, a father reading My Papi Has a Motorcycle to his two children, a tool lending library and a bike repair clinic. The pictures presented not the libraries many of us remember from our childhood but an exciting future for a much revered institution.

“Libraries still offer many traditional services with some unfortunate restrictions…librarians still find time to match people with the books they need. These selections may be second-guessed by irate taxpayers who don’t know the difference between F. Scott Fitzgerald and L. Ron Hubbard or don’t understand that ideas and stories aren’t contagious; the only disease they’ll infect you with is empathy.”

The story ends with heartfelt words from library lovers everywhere, giving library supporters the responsibility to ensure libraries’ unencumbered future: “in a time rife with shadows… libraries are the beating hearts of our communities. What we borrow from them pales in comparison to what we keep. How often we pause to appreciate their bounty is up to us.”

As Alamedans, we are so fortunate to have an outstanding library that continually provides new programs and services that meet the needs of our community.