Friends Events

Middle School Essay Contest Award Ceremony, May 2024

This was a first-time project for FOAL and organized by inspired board members, many of whom were former teachers. Working with the middle school librarian, Karl Pryor, he suggested a three-week entry deadline for the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students on the topic, “Describe a Book you have read and how it touched your life”. One day before the deadline, our team had received exactly 4 essays, but on the final day they received another 90 essays! It was challenging but fun to read so many essays at once, and the end results were gratifying. We had an awards celebration at the library May 4 where we invited the families of the winners to come hear the winning essays read as the children received their prizes. FOAL funded the $100 first-place, $75.00 second-place, and $50.00 third place prizes for each grade. At least 65 people attended. After an appropriate breather, we think we will do it again next year(!) It seems especially timely when the Ashland School system is having to lay off teachers and staff due to a decreasing number of students. Our excellent middle school librarian will be leaving us, with library associates carrying on as best they can. Parents are dismayed.

To view pictures from the event, please visit our photo gallery. The winning essays are listed below for download (.docx file).

8th Grade

1st Place: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Scout Drossos

2nd Place: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, Hayden Turner

3rd Place: We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson, Juniper Nohr

Honorable Mention: They Both Die in the End by Adam Silvera, Ireleigh McGrath and Chomp by Carl Hiaasen, Payton Lindgren

7th Grade

1st Place: Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, Tristina Brower

2nd Place: The Edge Chronicles by Chris and Paul Stewart, Niko Keto

3rd Place: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, Tulsi McEwen

Honorable Mention: The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, Alma Galicia and The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, Lily Grissom

6th Grade

1st Place: No One Returns from the Enchanted Forest by Robin Robinson, Athena Ousley

2nd Place: Wonder by R.J. Palacio, Aurora DeLong

3rd Place: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Jackson Kenfield

Honorable Mention: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Lucy Ramseur Stroud and The Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna by Alda P. Dobbs, Riana Guerrero

2024 Annual Meeting

April 13, 2024 was our Annual Membership Meeting, celebrating National Library Week and welcoming new members. Manager Kristin Anderson filled us in on all the doings at the Ashland branch and the progress on the upcoming book-lockers. The business meeting went smoothly with budget numbers explaining the funds committed to the book locker project, and the future renovation of the Ashland branch library. Attendance was very good – members wanted to hear our guest speaker, Eddie Lopez, an actor with nine seasons in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He was delightful, sings, dances (is often a dance captain) and is multi-lingual. His talk was titled “From the Page to the Stage” exploring the ways both libraries and theaters contribute to the appreciation of the arts. And he created a very enjoyable slideshow for us all. We are hoping he will be able to repeat it with other groups.

To view photos from the Annual Meeting 2024, please visit our photo gallery. For a complete summary of the meeting, please see our Annual Meeting 2024 minutes.

National Library Week Special Tours, April 2024

On April 12, we offered our members a special insider tour of the Southern Oregon University's Hannon Library. Carrie Forbes, who is on our FOAL board and is the University Librarian at SOU, led two small groups on this insider tour, including rare manuscripts from the Vault. There was an excellent write-up of the tours in our local online newspaper called It included many photos that showcase Hannon Library, including Shakespeare’s Fourth Folio.

2023 Annual Meeting

The 2023 Friends of the Ashland Library annual meeting was held on Saturday, February 25, 2023 in the Gresham Room at the Library. The minutes of the meeting are HERE. A few pictures from the annual meetings can be found in our photo gallery.

2022 Annual Meeting

The 2022 Friends of the Ashland Library annual meeting was held via Zoom on Saturday, March 12, 2022.

President Karen Spence reviewed the Board committees, their members, and activities during 2021.  Of particular note were the fundraising efforts of the book sale team and the By-Laws and Articles of Incorporation updates.  

Karen also reported that, as a result of the generosity of Friends members, book sale income, and bequest monies, the Friends were able to contribute $100,000 toward the ground floor renovation project.

Minutes of the meeting are HERE.