Volunteer Extraordinaire Sita Peddada

Pictured: Fred Surh, Nancy Cooney, Lisa Mendoza , Sita Peddada, Catherine Atcheson, and Vicki Watson

Sita (Sailaja) Peddada moved to Alameda in 2008 after completing her PhD at UC Davis on the genetic and molecular basis of autism spectrum disorders. Her journey with FAL started when she decided to volunteer in the city she had come to love. Initially she sorted books for the twice yearly used book sales. When our amazing book sale chair Peg Rosen stepped down last fall, Sita stepped up.

It is difficult to comprehend all the challenges of organizing a used book sale that lasts three days and has over 40,000 books to sell. But as Sita tells it in her modest fashion, “Most of the volunteers were pros and I learned from them.” Her first sale earned over $22,000 for the library and she felt very proud of the collective contribution of the whole team.

Then came COVID! As Sita says, “The whole COVID crisis is not just about protecting ourselves, but also our way of life.” So when it became clear that the Friends would not be able to hold our in-person sales for the foreseeable future, Sita and volunteers Nancy Cooney, Peg Rosen, Lisa Mendoza, Tracy Matsuoka, and Catherine Atcheson put their heads together (virtually) to figure out how to continue with this long-standing Friends fundraiser. Thanks to Sita and the very hard work of the team, the Friends now have an online used bookstore. Check out the collection of affordably priced books Sita and her team have assembled at the store. The Friends are very fortunate to have many dedicated volunteers working to support our library in Alameda and Sita is among the best.