Two people sitting at a table, one teaching the other to read. This sight gave comedian Paula Poundstone goose bumps and made her love for public libraries even stronger.
Poundstone has partnered with Friends of the Library U.S.A. to be their spokesperson to help raise money for libraries across the country.
“I always thought libraries were funded by taxes, which they are, but they are still not completely funded,” Poundstone said.
Poundstone will be performing two dates in the Los Angeles area, July 11 at the Canyon Club for the Friends of The Agoura Hills Public Library and July 12 at the Wadsworth Theatre for the Friends of the Westwood Public Library.
FOL for each branch will be at the shows to sell her book, “There’s Nothing In This Book That I Meant to Say.” All proceeds from the book sales will go back to each library.
Poundstone joined up with FOLUSA after performing at one of their conventions. She said she contacted them to see how to help, and that’s how she became their spokesperson.
Poundstone said she thought what they were doing was great and that her libraries are “one of the last places of real community.”
Poundstone is the first spokesperson for FOLUSA, though the organization has had honorary presidents in the past such as first lady Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton said Sally Reed, the executive director for FOLUSA.
Reed said the organization enjoys having Poundstone as spokesperson and that she is welcome to have it for as long as she likes.
The purpose for FOLUSA is to add the “icing on the cake” for libraries Reed said.
FOLUSA has more than 3,000 groups all across the U.S., according to their Web site. Each group helps its local library with additional funding that it might need Reed said.
Suzanne Gray, the western area manager for 12 branch libraries, said that what the local FOL for the Westwood Library does is to help provide funding for programs.
Gray said it is the difference between having one program for the year or several programs throughout the year.
Last year Westwood’s FOL helped fund programs such as Reptile Family, Personal Finance, Ballroom dancing. They also helped to purchase new books and a color copier for the library, said Reed.
Poundstone said she and her three children, ranging from ages 10 to 17, are regulars at the library. Her kids have been involved in their local branch’s summer reading programs where they keep track of the books they have read in order to get prizes.
One thing that the library has done for Poundstone and her children is to turn them on to books on tapes.
She said they spend so much time in the car that they have come in really handy. Another thing is how helpful the librarians are.
When she has asked them for books for her children she said they always point her in the right direction.
Poundstone said she always remembers the library being a part of her life, but there is one book with which she had a long connection.
When she was in junior high she was going to write a report about Geronimo so she checked out a book on him at the library.
Poundstone said that for some reason she did not end up writing the report and the book somehow got put on a shelf and was forgotten.
One day a bill showed up at her house and her father saw it and came pounding on the door waving the $14 bill around telling her to look at it. Poundstone said the only thing she could think was “how can I look at it if he keeps waving it around?”
Poundstone may have a problem getting library books back on time, but she said she thinks her partnership with FOLUSA is nice and she’s happy to gain awareness for the organization.