2017 Friends’ Gala

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Please find your invitation below to the 2017 Friends’ Gala:
FSCPL Invitation
FSCPL Invitation text

Dear Reader —
I just saw an old photograph of the stone-and-ivy-covered Carnegie-built Santa Cruz Public Library that I frequented as a child. It brought back a flood of memories. I remember my earliest days walking up the steps, sunlight filtering through the windows, the musty smells and honey-colored vistas, obtaining my first library card (how proud of it I was!)—and with it, the right and responsibilities of taking home a book. What a marvel. The library was a sanctuary and refuge, a wonder room and a cabinet of curiosities, a baseball park, opium den, and 19th century California fishing wharf all rolled into one. The library took me on a magic carpet ride to places I could never imagine, to worlds I could only dream.

What a wonderful place to get lost! I listened to Louis Armstrong playing jazz in a New Orleans dance hall, circa 1918. I watched Ty Cobb and Cool Papa Bell round the bases, Billie Holiday and Zora Neale Hurston huddled in conversation. I walked through the looking glass and fell into the spell.

Because of this magic, I’m now inviting you to a library party. It takes place on the winter solstice—my favorite night, because from that point on spring and summer are on their way—the annual Relax at Home with a Good Book Solstice Gala. What better way to celebrate the solstice than at a party of your own creation, at a venue provided by a book of your choosing, taking you to some distant, mystical place.

I like to think of it as the Un-Gala. And the best part: Admission is merely a gift to the Friends of the Public Library. Be generous and imaginative! Remember the old Carnegie Library I mentioned? That’s where I first imagined myself being a writer. And it was in the California Room there—at the big wooden table in the middle of it—that I scratched out (quite literally) my very first stories. It was there that I could find the quiet, solitude and inspiration requisite to compose a story. The magic was in the room.

Even in the Age of the Internet—and perhaps because of the internet!— libraries remain a cornerstone of civilized society. They are at once democratic and collective institutions that feed and support civic goals and values. Libraries are power. Libraries are freedom. Libraries are strength. Libraries are community. Celebrate with us at the Relax at Home with a Good Book Solstice Gala.

Party hard! I look forward to seeing you there!

—Geoffrey Dunn

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