President’s Message – May 2024

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

We are excited to welcome the new Library Director, Michael Eitner, who comes to Alameda from his position as Assistant Director at the Solano County Library. We look forward to working with Michael to support and advocate for our library’s many wonderful programs.

In April, FAL partnered with Librarian Rosemary Van Lare on a successful Adopt-a-Pet event at the Bay Farm Island Branch. A full cartooning workshop taught artists of all ages how to draw pets (I heard one participant ask how to draw a dragon, which I guess could be considered a pet). See more about this exciting day below!

For the library’s Summer Reading Program, teens and adults may select a coupon for a free book from BFF (our Books for Friends bookstore, located near Friends Café in the Main Branch.) In June, we’ll support another Bay Farm Island Branch event featuring the East Bay Vivarium, and in July, we will support the Fratello Marionettes at the West End Branch. These and many other outstanding library programs are all made possible by our supporters. Our Spring Appeal for our 50th Anniversary is underway, and we encourage everyone to consider making a donation.

As advocates for Alameda libraries, we are following AB 1825, the California Freedom to Read Act, which would prohibit libraries from excluding materials based on topics, views, or opinions expressed in the materials. Basically, it’s a ban on book bans. Many other states are working on similar legislation — among them Minnesota, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Washington, Vermont, Colorado, and Kansas — to fight the rising tide of censorship, which, unfortunately, is attempted here in California as well. AB 1825 has sailed through the first few legislative committees, and we will continue to update you all on its progress.