Friends of the Sacramento Public Library

Reviewed in 2021 by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

$98,308 raised by 557 donors

100% complete

$90,000 Goal


Friends of the Sacramento Public Library is the official nonprofit partner of Sacramento Public Library. The Friends and the library work together to promote literacy and expand community resources and access. A gift to Friends of the Sacramento Public Library directly benefits the library.

Friends of the Sacramento Public Library believes that libraries are vital institutions for building educated communities. Access to books helps children develop reading skills and goes a long way toward helping them reach their potential. Friends provide funds and volunteers to help Sacramento Public Library get books into the homes of first graders with both the Book First and Summer Reading programs, inspiring the joy of reading in a child with a gift that will last a lifetime.

Funds raised on the Big Day of Giving will help Friends meet its goal of purchasing books for more than 14,000 first graders from 170 local schools - that's 550 classrooms! The disruption to early reading that resulted from the pandemic means that there is still a critical need for access to books for young readers. Expanding a child's reading experience beyond the confines of school has a positive impact on their ability to grow and develop as a young reader.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you! My students are so excited about their new books. They just want to read, read, and read. You should see the smiles on their faces. They can't wait to tell their family. I hope we can do this again next year." - Trish Saito, White Rock Elementary

"First reading changes children more than anything else in their life." - Heidi Garner, principal, Thomas Edison Language Institute


Friends of the Sacramento Public Library is a volunteer helpmate to the award-winning Sacramento Public Library system. As a membership-supported nonprofit, the Friends advocate and raise funds for, and provide crucial support to the system's 28 libraries. Just as the Library serves everyone, so does the Friends organization.


Since 2016, funds raised by Friends of the Sacramento Public Library from the Big Day of Giving have been dedicated entirely to Book First. In the first year of the Book First program, a free book was provided to nearly 8,800 students in 118 local schools. Knowing that students lacked access to school and classroom libraries during COVID-19, the Book First program doubled its efforts during the 2020-2021 school year and provided each student with two books. More than 13,000 first graders in 171 schools in Sacramento County received a special student pack containing two books, an activity sheet, and tips for parents and caregivers on how to support their new reader at home. With the addition of the Summer Reading Program, the Friends hope to provide an additional 18,000 books to children.

As our communities recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, we anticipate our local schools' needs will grow. We hope to serve even more first grade students in the 2021-2022 school year as additional schools qualify for the program. We also hope to help them continue their reading journey during the summer, building on the foundation laid by Book First.

Book First and the Summer Reading Program will also introduce students to the Sacramento Public Library and the resources it offers to new readers. An ancillary benefit of the program is that it helps the Library connect children with their local library so that they might become regular users. This not only provides access to materials in the collection, but also to the library's wide array of services, from virtual homework help and tutors to databases and online courses.

Friends of the Sacramento Public Library is an all-volunteer membership organization. In the years prior to the pandemic, our volunteers regularly donated nearly 55,000 hours of services, an estimated savings to the library of more than $1 million. We need our volunteer base to grow as the Book First program expands and the need for library services grows in all of the communities served by its 28 locations. A greater volunteer base will help us build upon our already substantial contribution of in-person hours across a wide spectrum of work. One of the most rewarding volunteer opportunities is to see the joy in a child's eyes when they pick out a book and understand that it is theirs forever. Another wonderful opportunity will be helping children learn about and register for the Summer Reading Program.

Friends of the Sacramento Public Library actively recruits for diverse, talented members from our community to serve on the corporate board that guides the entire organization, as well as members to serve each of the 28 library locations.

While we have traditionally raised funds to support Sacramento Public Library through donations, membership dues, and the sale of gently used books, Friends of the Sacramento Public Library continues to explore other avenues to support the library and its 28 locations. For example, with the support of Sacramento Public Library, we have developed a legacy giving opportunity for those who want to support the library: Friends Investing in Sacramento Public Library. Please see our website for details on how you can include Sacramento Public Library in your legacy planning -

As an all-volunteer organization, Friends of the Sacramento Public Library is looking for technical expertise in these areas: social media (to help us reach out to volunteers and the public) and technical expertise to aid us in digitizing our corporate records.

Organization Data


Organization name

Friends of the Sacramento Public Library

other names


Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category


Operating Budget


Organization Need

Funding: Program, Volunteers, Board Members, Funding: Other

Demographics Served

Seniors, Youth & Children


828 I St. Suite 408
Sacramento, CA 95814

Service areas 0

Sacramento, CA, US



Social Media 0

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