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Kids Club Bookmobile Trailer a “Huge Hit” at Landpaths’ Bayer Farm in Roseland
Written by admin, November 20th, 2011   

Based on population density and income level, southwest Santa Rosa has been desperately appropriate for a public library for many years.  Unfortunately our community services have been steadily stripped of funding and there is no relief in sight.  That is why, back in March, the Sonoma County Free Bookmobile eagerly agreed to establish our original bookmobile trailer on permanent loan at Landpaths’ Bayer Farm.  Bayer is a unique resource in the heart of the Roseland neighborhood: an urban farm, learning center, positive gathering site for local families – and hopefully a city park in the making.

Landpaths’ Bilingual Program Coordinator Magdalena Ridley recently gave us great news about the extensive utilization of the “Kids Club” trailer over the summer.  Not only did site staff open the bookmobile every Friday during their free summer lunch program, they also hosted a number of special events and multiple visits by the local Boys & Girls Club.  The grand total was several hundred unique visitors, not only children ages 0 – 18 but neighborhood adults as well, and “…each time the books were a huge hit,” writes Magdalena.

The maintenance of the trailer and book collection is catching on as well.  “The bookmobile was tagged fairly brutally with some bright red gang graffiti but a neighbor who walks there every day has taken it upon herself to repaint it each time,” continues Magdalena.  “We are in the process of planning a mural with some local young artists.  People from the community are beginning to bring their extra books – it is becoming a lending library.  We are very thankful for this amazing resource!”

The Free Bookmobile staff was fortunate to attend Bayer Farm’s Corn Festival in October and reunite with our faithful old steed for the evening.  We were encouraged by what we saw: both a growing familiarity with the use of the ‘mobile on some of the children’s eager faces, and plenty of the surprise and delight that often accompanies a first encounter with our services.  At the end of the night we left behind several boxes of brand new early reader books, and we took away big huge grins.


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Free Bookmobile Receives Grant from SR Community Advisory Board
Written by admin, November 17th, 2011   

We are very pleased to announce receipt of a 2012 Community Improvement Grant through the City of Santa Rosa.  We will use these funds to build much-needed shelving inside our book storage unit, as well as apply gravel to the approach so our wonderful volunteers can continue to deliver books throughout the winter.  This was a big problem last year as mud and heavy boxes of books don’t mix!

We appreciate the work of the Community Advisory Board, a volunteer group that reviews applications for funding from groups who want to make a difference in Santa Rosa.  Many of the proposed projects are innovative grass-roots efforts, and we applaud city support at this level of people helping people in their own neighborhoods.  For our part, we have expanded services in Santa Rosa dramatically this past year, giving away great books to people of all ages, including the little ones at all the State Preschools and Child Development Centers.


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Online Donations to Free Bookmobile Now Handled through Google Checkout
Written by admin, November 16th, 2011   

In a long overdue upgrade, our website’s tax-deductible donation processing is now being handled by Google Checkout software rather than PayPal.  While PayPal is certainly a well-known brand, we had technical problems with their standard button script: it required particular web browser cookie settings to function properly, and the donation button did not even appear on some Mac platform browsers.  Their support team was friendly but unable to offer improvements.  So we have made a move to Google Checkout, which appears to be running smoothly.  Donors must have a Google account to use it but can easily create one while donating if necessary.

While investigating the options, we discovered that Google also offers free “AdWords” search-engine advertising and other cool tools for select non-profits through their Google Grants program, to which we plan to apply.  Please let us know if you have any trouble using this service to invest in our important work!  And thank you for your continued support.


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