The Friends of the Esparto Regional Library, a 7 member 501(c)3 organization, formed in 1996 to raise funds for the Esparto Regional Library capital campaign. The library was built in 1999 for $1.2 million after ten years of fundraising by community volunteers and generous contributions from individuals and governmental agencies. Most of the financing to build the library came from private and public donations, including those from Dixie Keisler ($117,503), the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation ($164,151), a Friends of the Library Capital Campaign ($328,066), Federal Library Services and Construction Act Grant ($325,000), Development Impact Fees ($200,000), Library Funds ($119,030). The Esparto Unified School District provided the site on which the 5,590-square-foot, single-story structure was built.
Once the library construction was completed in 1999, the Friends of the Esparto Regional Library, an all-volunteer board of directors, became the primary organization to support the enrichment programs and services offered at the library. The library offers a welcoming space for people of all ages to read, learn, access free computers and the Internet, and explore. FERL is also responsible for the management of the FERL Endowment. FERL increases library patronage by sponsoring programs that focus on the Arts and Sciences. Each month, a special program happens at the library to entertain and educate. Esparto Librarian Malinda Baker selects the library programs with input from FERL and from feedback by program attendees.
FERL sponsors the Book Nook, the annual Almond Festival "Books In Bloom" book sale, garden maintenance on the library grounds, and media (books, dvds, audiobooks) purchases. In 2015, FERL’s primary focus was to coordinate efforts with Yolo County to increase the library’s broadband speed to one gigabyte in order to provide improved Internet access to library visitors. The increased Internet speed provides library patrons better access to the world wide web including enhanced ability to: conduct job searches, do research, tap into educational programs, connect with friends and family via social networking, complete online homework assignments, and read electronic books. Broadband enables library patrons to access E-government, employment, education, health and other Internet-enabled services and resources. This system upgrade was made possible with a grant to Yolo County from the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC). FERL plans to purchase additional computers for library patrons and laptops for classes such as Computer Literacy and English Language Learning.
FERL memberships form the foundation of the organization. Please join FERL and participate in the future of your library!