The Peninsula Friends of the Library is a California 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and is the sole fundraising organization of the Palos Verdes Library District. This all-volunteer membership organization was founded by a group of devoted library supporters in 1961 to enhance the services and programs of our Peninsula libraries. Currently, more than 800 Friends provide the financial resources to ensure that the library district has the funds necessary to continue vital programs and services that enrich our community. In fact, it provides 5% of the library’s budget, without which the peninsula libraries would be forced to reduce operating hours and cut services.
The Mission of the Peninsula Friends of the Library is to connect the Palos Verdes Library District with the community through communication, engagement and fundraising.
In 1926, the 400 residents of Palos Verdes established an independent school district and shortly thereafter a Library Board. Our first library was operated as a small temporary branch of the Los Angeles County Library System in the Gardner Building in Malaga Cove Plaza. In 1929 the Library Board of Trustees petitioned for and was granted an independent Palos Verdes Library District (PVLD). The Malaga Cove Library opened its doors on June 3, 1930, and remained the community’s major public library for 37 years.
In 1946, a small collection of children’s books was placed in Miraleste Elementary School. Circulation in Palos Verdes grew to 36,000 in 1950, 73,000 in 1955, and over 100,000 by 1957. At this point, plans for the new central library in Peninsula Center began, and culminated in a grand opening in June, 1967. Three years later, the new Miraleste Library opened to serve the increasing population on the eastern side of the peninsula.
The Peninsula Friends of the Library was organized in 1961 as an all-volunteer, non-profit entity whose mission was to enhance the services and programs of the District. The first Friends brochure talked about the “Importance of public library service to the life of our community.” Jean Shriver was president of the Friends from 1964 to 1965, and the Friends immediately began raising funds to satisfy its core mission to enhance services and programs for the library.
The Friends became more important when in 1978, Proposition 13 cut the Library budget by 65% and the staff by 50%. The Friends stepped up to provide the necessary funds eliminated by Prop 13, and we have been active ever since.
Today the Friends provide over $400,000 annually to PVLD and the endowment has grown to over $1.5 million. The Friends are now an integral component of PVLD—supporting book sales, special events, volunteers, funding of the Teen Annex, and providing 5% of the Library’s budget—all to strengthen PVLD and Palos Verdes Peninsula Community.
Please join us today by becoming a Friend!