The Orinda Library began in 1914 as a small book collection in the local schoolhouse. From 1956-1958, Orindans raised $115,000 to build the first library on Irwin Way. Years later, the new library was built as a partnership—the Friends of the Orinda Library own the physical building, the City of Orinda owns the land, and the library is operated by the Contra Costa County Library system. The Orinda Library is the only Friends-owned library in the county.

The Friends of the Orinda Library were formed in the 1950s. From 1997-2001, we raised over 75% of the funds (over $5 million) to build the library that you see today.

The Friends of the Orinda Library play a central role in supporting the day-to-day operations of the library, raising around $60,000 annually. We have also been a driving force behind several parcel tax campaigns to provide funds to keep our library open 56 hours per week.

The Friends of the Orinda Library is a 501(c)(3) California non-profit corporation made up of over 400 local residents and is run by a volunteer Board of Directors.

What We Do

The Friends of the Orinda Library purchase many of the library’s new materials each year, including:

  • Thousands of new books and e-books
  • DVDs, including popular movies, TV shows, and documentaries
  • Audiobooks
  • Subscriptions to about 60 magazines, including Cooks Illustrated, Fine Gardening, Smithsonian, The Economist, Harvard Women’s Health Watch, Edible East Bay, Scientific American, Vogue, New Yorker, and many children’s magazines
  • Subscriptions to newspapers and magazines, including highly valued financial periodicals.

In addition, the Friends fund many of the library’s enrichment programs for children, teens, and adults, including:

How We Do It

The Friends of the Orinda Library funds these wonderful programs in two ways:

  • Memberships, and
  • Book sales through the Friends’ Bookshop, monthly sales, and online book sales.

Who We Are

Interested in joining our board?  We have a few key positions available!  Email to learn more.

Exec Board

Board Members


Nancy Ross-MadnickVice President
Margaret BeckTreasurer
Linda Landau

Recording Secretary
Fran Strykowski

Corresponding Secretary
Ev Hermsmeier

Art in Public Places/
Special Projects
Jane ZuercherBookshop-Volunteers
Pat RossBookshop
Bette Michelotti

Book Sorting Room
Nancy Ross-Madnick

Ev HermsmeierLibrary/City Liaisons
Linda Landau
Amy WorthMembership/Marketing

Nancy Parker

Writing Contest Coordinator
Fran Strykowski

Lori HughesBook Sales
Bette Michelotti
Nancy Ross-MadnickGraphic Design/Webmaster
Michelle Bea

Membership, Database

Online Sales
Margaret Beck


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