A Short History of FOAL

AuberryLibrary_AuberryCA.jpgThe Friends of the Auberry Library (FOAL) was formed in 1991 by a small group of library volunteers who wanted to enhance their community by supporting their local library. At the time, the library was located in the old Reynold's Appliance Building next to Ponderosa Market. The group held its first fundraiser in order to purchase a typewriter for public use. The charter members were:  Carolyn Austin, Gina Barsuglia, Jackie Bolerjack, Traudel Early, Jan Frazier, Fran Freeman, LoWayne Kittinger, Juanita Kovar, Astrid Olson, Phyllis Powers and Anne Neal. The group worked tirelessly holding regular book and bake sales, creating floats for the Auberry Fall Festival parades, organizing raffles, and collecting glass for recycling in efforts to raise funds and awareness of the Auberry library.
Thanks to the hard work of FOAL members, library volunteers and the community, the Library was relocated in 1996 to its current location in the old Union Bank Building. The building was about four times larger than the old space and the library's collection was so small that the top and bottom shelves of bookcases were left empty. However, with the passage of Measure B in 1998, the Library increased the number of hours it was open and the shelves began to fill with materials. As the Library has grown, FOAL has continued in its efforts to support this valuable resource in our community. The need for additional support from FOAL membership increases as the Library strives to offer more materials and services to its patrons.
As the Library expands, so does FOAL. In 2005, making a bold and exciting move, the group decided to form its own non-profit, tax-exempt organization in order to be able to accept tax deductible donations and to apply for grant funds. In step with this expansion, FOAL continues to increase its membership base as more dollars and more volunteers are needed for upcoming projects. To date projects have included improvements both inside and outside the library such as the Sohm Memorial Garden and improved shelving.  Members and non-members have enjoyed free monthly concerts and subsidized cultural trips for adults and teens.  FOAL also sponsors a free speaker series as well as drama presentations.  In an effort to widen FOAL's influence, outreach programs in the local schools take place regularly. 

What FOAL does for the Community

FOAL raises money for free community programming such as music, art, and drama outreach in our local schools, as well as teen tours, evening concerts and lectures among other performances.  Fundraising efforts such as Amazon sales, book and bake sales, raffles, membership dues, fundraisers, grant writing, and private donations fund these activities. The money raised by FOAL directly benefits the Auberry library by providing funds for programming, equipment, and materials.

 FOAL has paid for many significant improvements to the Auberry library including:
Construction of the Sohm Garden and outdoor presentation area                                                
Re-landscaping the front of the library                                                                                     
Remodeling the staff kitchen

 FOAL’s major purchases for the library include:
Moveable book shelves which allows for flexible seating options for indoor programs 
Six dozen stackable chairs for indoor seating during performances                                                
Large screen T.V. and Wii for the teen room 

Overhead digital projection system                                                                                       

FOAL also provides a wide spectrum of programs and events for people of all ages.

The Monthly Concert Series and Music Outreach Program is in its 12th year. Once a month, from January through October FOAL offers a free concert featuring a wide variety of musical genres and styles. During the day of the concert the bands give workshops to the music students at Sierra Junior/Senior High School. In May of 2017 FOAL offered its 100th free concert.

The Anne Neal Guest Speaker Series was created to honor long-time Auberry librarian Anne Neal and her legacy at the Auberry Library and in the community. This program brings thought-provoking speakers who inform, educate, and entertain our community on a wide variety of topics. During the day the speakers visit the local schools to give presentations and workshops on the topic they will present that evening.

FOAL brings theatrical presentations to the library for evening performances. During the day of the performance the actors give presentations and workshops to students in the English, Drama, and Filmmaking classes at the local elementary, junior, and senior high schools.  Programs have included dramatic presentations of Edgar Alan Poe, Albert Einstein, John Muir, Georgia O'Keeffe, and performances by the Sierra Chamber Opera, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Blimprov Improv Comedy Troupe.

FOAL's Teen Program offers a variety of programs to our local teens. These include after school and summertime crafts (pottery, macramé, photography, etc.), a book discussion group called Pizza and Pages, and Teen Tours. FOAL encourages Community Volunteerism and many teens volunteer at the Auberry library. The FOAL Teen Scholarship Award is available each year to a graduating senior who has participated in the teen program and volunteered for FOAL and/or the Auberry library.                                    

The FOAL Tours program offers members of our community an opportunity to attend organized cultural and natural history tours. Trips are well attended and have received positive feedback from the community.  

FOAL oversees an annual K-3 literacy grant from the Sohm Family Trust to Foothill Elementary School, not to exceed $10,000 per year. FOAL also sponsors Astronomy Nights, The Tween Program, and The First Grade Gift Book Program.