President’s Message – May 2021

Karen Butter, FAL Board President

May is another amazing programming month for Friends @ Home featuring three authors and one docent event. A big thank you to the Docent Council of the Museum of Fine Arts for its ongoing support of our programs. All of the docents from the Council have been extremely knowledgeable and have presented exceptional talks. Our author talks have been superb as well. If you weren’t able to watch the live presentations, recordings are available on the FAL website. The Mystery Writers of America just announced the 2021 Edgar Awards (comparable to the Oscars for mystery writers). To our delight, two authors from our Friends @ Home author programs won awards: Deepa Anappara won the Best Novel award for her book Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line and Elsa Hart won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne. We are honored to have had them speak in our author series and we send each of them our heartfelt congratulations.

The Board of the Friends of the Alameda Free Library is beginning to consider how to structure its in-person programming once it’s safe to do so. We hope to begin some level of in-person programs this fall and are very excited that libraries throughout the area are beginning to open. The Alameda Free Library will open the Main Library for limited browsing, self check-out, and computer access on May 3. They have issued several guidelines for those who wish to visit the Library. As we develop plans for FAL events we will keep everyone informed. We’re interested in hearing from our readers about the virtual programs you would like to see continue and what you miss about in-person programs.

During the pandemic, the Used Book Sale team developed alternatives to in-person book sales. The Grab Bag Fundraiser let an individual buy a bag of books for an Alameda non-profit. We were delighted in the interest from non-profits and from sponsors who contributed to the program. We received a delightful letter from Girls Inc. of the Island City thanking us for providing the books to support their programs. If other Alameda non-profit organizations would like good quality books for their programs please contact us at