P. O. Box 191302, Sacramento, CA 95819
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California Friends of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina

The California Friends, formed in 1990 in the Sacramento area, are committed to exploring ways of supporting the new Library of Alexandria, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Comprising transplanted Alexandrians, Egyptian, Greek, Italian, and Arab Americans, librarians, educators, public servants, and businesses, these California Friends have continued to contribute strongly to the Bibliotheca.

Several prominent California institutions -- the California State Library, California State University - Sacramento, Los Rios Community College District, Cosumnes River College, SALAM in Sacramento, the Exploratorium in San Francisco, Stanford University, and UCLA, as well as individual Friends in Los Angeles and San Diego -- supported the California Friends in their efforts to build bridges between Californians and peoples of other cultures, fostering dialogues to strengthen multicultural understanding. The Egyptian Consul General in California has worked closely with us since our inception.

Each fall a delegation of Californians attends the Annual Meeting of the International Friends, primarily in Alexandria, although held in London and Athens prior to the Library's completion. It is a time for renewing friendships with the other Friends chapters and with Bibliotheca staff, carrying out the business of the International Friends, and delivering the Californians' donations of materials to the Library.

Purpose of the California Friends

The California Friends have achieved several goals in support of the new Bibliotheca Alexandrina:

1) To educate and inform the public about the Library, and to promote its image in California and the United States

  • Through the California State Library, we drafted a Resolution of Support for the Bibliotheca which the California Legislature passed. The Resolution introduced Californians to this global project with its benefits for all. We also contacted and advised the U.S. Senate with its resolution at the opening of the Library in 2002.
  • We have worked closely with the Egyptian Consul General in San Francisco concerning support of the Bibliotheca through programming, educational and fundraising activities, intern hosting, and maintaining open dialogue concerning good relations with Egypt.
  • We have offered lectures and presentations about the Bibliotheca Alexandrina at several gatherings in the U.S. -- California Library Association, American Library Association, Colorado Library Association, libraries, colleges and universities, book groups, and Arab and Muslim American community and religious organizations.
  • We have advised Friends in other States (e.g., Colorado, Baltimore and Minnesota) on forming local chapters.
2) To assist the Bibliotheca with library development through giving professional advice, assisting with collection development and appropriate donations, and arranging BA staff training programs in California institutions
  • We designed and implemented a training program in northern California for a Bibliotheca staff intern, with visits to and mentored work at many libraries of different types, sizes, and specialties.
  • We planned and coordinated with the San Francisco Exploratorium for attendance at their teacher training program by the Director of the BA's Science Center and Alexploratorium.
  • We advised the Bibliotheca in creating collection development policies and arranging for donation of many materials to the Bibliotheca.
  • We arranged and participated in the Sacramento-based Readers of Homer program at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
  • We Introduced a poetry reading program as part of each annual meeting of the International Friends.
  • We facilitated a visit by the Director and the Senior Staff member of the BA's Taha Hussein Library Service to the Blind, who had had received a UNESCO grant to study agencies in the San Francisco area that serve the blind and visually impaired. Reports on this visit are here.

3) To assist with fund-raising

California Friends, chaired by Prof. Rosalie Cuneo Amer, includes Lois Shumaker and several other members.

Photo collage of CA Friends
P.O.Box 138 Chatby, Alexandria 21526, Egypt | Phone: +203 483 9999 | E-mail:
Last updated 23-jul-17 /contact California Friends