Friends of the Millbrae Library  ●  SEPTEMBER • 2008 • VOL 30 • NR 1

FML News

Text only edition

County's New Director of Library Services      By Anne-Marie Despain, Interim Director of Library Services

   It is my pleasure to announce that Martín Gómez will be joining the San Mateo County Library as Director of Library Services.

   I am excited that someone as talented as Mr. Gómez will be leading the organization and believe his experience fits well within our organizations strategic plans and initiatives. Mr. Gómez brings over 30 years of experience in leading library services. He recently spent four years as President of the Urban Libraries Council which supports research, continuing education, programs and special events designed to strengthen the public library as an essential part of urban life. He was also Executive Director of the Friends & Foundation of the San Francisco Public Library, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Public Library and Director of the Oakland Public Library.

   Mr. Gómez holds a Masters in Library Science from the University of Arizona, Tucson and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is past President of REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish speaking. The author of several articles, he frequently speaks both nationally and internationally on public libraries.

   According to Mr. Gómez, "I'm excited about the opportunity to return to local library service. The communities served by the San Mateo County Library System are diverse and this position gives me the opportunity to work with local leaders and an excellent team to make it a showcase in all ways."

   Please join me in welcoming Mr. Gómez to San Mateo County Library when he arrives in November.

FML Website     By Suzanne Medrano, Webmaster

The Millbrae Library is a busy place with many activities, events, and opportunities available each and every week. We would like to thank for hosting our website . . .

Please visit our website for event schedules. You won't want to miss an exciting program.

The Friends of the Millbrae Library News will be posted online. At the January renewal we will offer members the option to opt-out of receiving it by mail. Members will receive an email letting them know as soon as the newsletter is available online, so please keep your e-mail address up-to-date with us.

President’s Letter              By Bob Miller

   It is an honor for me to have been elected to serve as your FML President. My first wish, as author of this column, is to commend, congratulate and thank two fabulous ladies, our outgoing co-presidents, Wendy Maynard and Judi Sullivan. They have led The Friends as President or Co-president for as long as I have been on the Board and their leadership has been innovative, unselfish, and effective. Their work for FML has been tireless. Our beautiful new library and all its patrons are the beneficiaries. Wendy remains as Secretary and Judi will continue on the Board, managing our Book Store and book sales. Thank you Wendy and Judi for all that you do and all that you have done.

   Speaking of book sales, I am pleased to report that the proceeds from our last two book sale events totaled $1,202. Thanks to all of our many volunteers who worked so hard to make these events so successful. It’s work, but its fun.

   At our August Board meeting, Millbrae Library’s on-site manager, Kathleen Beasley, submitted the library’s annual “Wish List”. The items are library enhancements not allowed for in the library budget. It included additions to library collections (Foreign language, best sellers, children’s books and textbooks for our Homework Center), Programs (adults, teens and children’s), Tutor’s salary and supplies for our Homework Center, plus desirable furniture and equipment. The FML Board approved a budget of $68,350 to pay for these needs. As always, we wish keep our members informed on the fiscal affairs of FML and how its funds are applied.

   To continue to fund these enhancements which make our library so great, we rely on our membership. It is so important that each of us renew our membership each year and to be a recruiter for the Friends. Each of us should encourage our friends, relatives and neighbors to join and become active in FML’s great programs and activities. There are other opportunities to support FML financially. You can contribute larger amounts in the form of donations, endowments and bequests and you will be honored on the Millbrae Library Donor Wall and in the Donor Book .

   And since FML is a 501(c)(3) organization, your contributions are tax deductible.

   Millbrae’s annual Art & Wine festival, sponsored by our Chamber of Commerce attracted thousands of people over the Labor Day weekend. Volunteers from the Friends staffed the Chamber’s booth, selling souvenir beer, wine and champagne glasses and beverage tickets. This was not a fund raiser for us. We did it for the Chamber. But it was a great public relations success. We met many people and distributed many of our Friends brochures and when we closed our booth at the close of the event we got a standing ovation from the Chamber Staff. Again, it was work but we all had fun. Thanks to all of you who volunteered in this fun event. You were great.

   The Friends of the Millbrae Library welcomes our new San Mateo County Library Director of Library Services, Martin J. Gomez. He replaces Victoria L. Johnson, who died of breast cancer in May, at her home in Carmel. We look forward to meeting and working closely with Mr. Gomez in the years to come.

(a picture of Wendy and Judi is included)
Our Former Co-Presidents – Wendy Maynard and Judi Sullivan – were ready to serve you at the 2008 Millbrae Art and Wine Festival

Book Signing Event             By Elizabeth Sor

   The Friends of the Millbrae Library cosponsored a special book-signing event at the library’s community room on Saturday, August 2. Renowned local Chinese-American author/newswoman, Fang-chih Yang, introduced her new autobiography, The Sky Is Not All Rainbow, My Road to Recovery from Breast Cancer. An enthusiastic audience of more than 40 people attended. The majority of the evening’s presentation was in Mandarin Chinese. This was the first time the Friends has sponsored a program solely for the Chinese-speaking community.

   Ms Yang is a recently retired, Bay Area reporter/editor for World Journal, an international daily newspaper for Chinese-speaker readers. Ten years ago, she was diagnosed with second-stage breast cancer. In her journal, she describes her experience in the three-stage treatment and how she coexists with cancer and now lives a healthy, very active, life.

(a group picture is included)

   She is the President of Northern California Chinese Writers' Association, and has a blog in World Journal Web News. Her favorite pastime is travel.

   Like her writing, Ms Yang's talk was candid, straightforward and full of humor. What impressed the audience the most was her attitude dealing with the disease. She observed, “Other people say, ‘Why me?’ but I say, ‘Why NOT me’.” 

One Book, One Community
San Mateo County Reads What is the What, by Dave Eggers

   Welcome to the third annual One Book, One Community – an event in which the whole of San Mateo County’s libraries reads one book, (OBOC) – a county-wide reading program held annually to build community, call attention to reading and literacy and create a meaningful dialogue about books and reading.

   In 2006, OBOC promoted The Kite Runner and hosted its author Khaled Hosseini in conversation with Dr. Barbara Petzen, outreach coordinator for the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. In 2007, OBOC promoted Daughter of Fortune and hosted its author Isabel Allende in conversation with KQED's Michael Krasny. Both programs featured dozens of free community activities related to the themes raised by these inspiring novels.

   This year's featured book is What is the What by Dave Eggers. Eggers will kick off the month-long program on October 1st at 7:30 PM by appearing with KQED's Michael Krasny at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center. This kick-off event will feature audience Q and A as well as book signings by both Eggers and Krasny.

FMLs Businesses-on-Board

It is with pride that we gratefully acknowledge the following businesses for their contributions to the Friends.

If you would like to add your company’s name to this Honor Roll, a Business Membership form may be accessed at

AARP Millbrae Chapter #2049
Cathay Bank
Lehr Real Estate
Field Paoli Architects
Magnolia of Millbrae, Inc.
Millbrae Chamber of Commerce
Millbrae Lions Club
Millbrae Rotary Club
Nan Hai (USA) Co. Inc.
Peter's Café
Safeway Inc.
Soroptimist of San Bruno/Millbrae
South San Francisco Scavenger, Co.
Wells Fargo Foundation

Membership Matters          By Suzanne Medrano, Membership

Thank you to all of you who choose to support the work of the Friends through membership, donations, and purchases at our bookstore. We couldn't do it without you.

Thank you to See's Candies and Charlotte's Confections (Shaw's Candies) for providing gift certificates for our Membership Raffle held on May 29th. Congratulations to our winners: Peter & Athena Konstan, Richard & Lilian Peairs, Raymond & Gale Grinsell, and Sue Blumenberg

Sponsors Donors and Beyond : We are pleased to thank Hind Bou-Salman for a recent membership at the Sponsor level or above.

Recent additions to the Donor Wall

In Memory of Vivian L Bowers
John H. Bowers

In Memory of Bea Pincus,
Dedicated FML Member
From Her Family and Many Friends

In Memory of Elton A. Hodel
In Memory of Elias Hanna Nazzal
Pam Hodel

Vijendra, Kamal, Vinay
The Singh Family

Special Gift Fund Donors - June-September

Herbert & Margarita Rosenthal
Arthur N. Gilbert
Millbrae Newcomers & Friends Club
Carmen Delano
Dale & Joy Saunders

Book Discussions Group         By MaryStella Flynn

   The monthly first Monday of the month book discussions continue through 2008 with a special Add-On for each of the last months: October, November and December.

   On October 1st at 1 p.m. Irena Parker will lead the discussion on Ian McEwan's Enduring Love. The October Add-On will be a discussion on the County selection of the year, What is the What by Dave Eggars.

   The November 3rd discussion of Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks will be led by Lolly Pineda. Following the November discussion, there will be a short planning session to plan and finalize the book selections for the 2009 calendar.

   On December 1st we'll meet first for the Add-On, a 12:30 Pot Luck Holiday Luncheon. Members with the last names beginning with the letters A-M should bring a salad or finger food to share, Members whose last name begins with N-Z should bring a dessert to share. Following the luncheon, the book discussion of The Whole World Over will be led by Jenny Carp. As always, the Friends Book Discussion Group events are open to all interested readers!

Interested in Volunteering?

The Friends can always use more volunteers. We need volunteers for our book sales and the Book Store. Book Store helpers sort books and restock the Book Store shelves.

At book sales we need people to prepare for the sale, keep tables full of books tidy, and clean up afterward – contact Judi.

If you enjoy reading aloud, you might want to join the Rolling Reader volunteers who read to children in grades kindergarten through grade three in Millbrae School District schools – contact Wendy.

If you prefer reading to older adults, you can join our volunteers who read to small groups of seniors at Millbrae Serra, Emanuel, and Green Hills – contact Maureen.

For a volunteer form please visit our Friends bookstore, ask at the Accounts Desk, or email

Anyone age 55 or older, who volunteers for these programs, may enroll in RSVP, an agency that works with nonprofit and public agencies in San Mateo County. Volunteers who become members of RSVP automatically become eligible for its benefits. RSVP covers members with volunteer insurance. Members can receive mileage reimbursement to help defray the costs of their service, and are invited to an annual Volunteers Recognition event held every year in the spring. The only requirements for membership with RSVP are to be at least 55 years old and report volunteers hours to RSVP on a monthly basis. For an enrollment form contact Wendy.

Big Book & Media December Sale

December 5 – 3:00p to 6:00p
Admission $5.00
or Friends membership

December 6 – 9:00a to 4:00p
Free admission

December 7 – 1:00p to 3:00p
Free admission
Bag-of-Books $5.00