Friends of Orinda Library Celebrates Anniversary, Fundraiser, Book Sale

(Courtesy of Jane Kim)
Jane Kim, founder of InkDwell studio, commenting on the project said, "Orinda hills are full of wonder. The city's boundaries encompass a diversity of ecosystems such as riparian, chaparral and oak woodlands. I can't think of a better location for a mural cataloging natural heritage than a public library. Thank you, Orinda Garden Club and Friends of the Library, for working with our studio to bring this project to life!"

    On Saturday, Dec. 4, the Friends of the Orinda Library (the Friends) will rock Library Plaza with three simultaneous events: celebration of the 20-year anniversary of building the library, debut of a mural and fundraiser to commemorate the event and a long-awaited book sale. Join them from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. for family fun at the same time as the Orinda Farmers’ Market.
    Over the last 20 years, the Friends have hosted popular programs such as the first Contra Costa County “Reading to Dogs Program,” which began in 2006.
    More than 1,000,000 books have been donated to the Friends since the Library opened. All are sorted and sold either in the Library bookshop or online. Money earned funds library programs.
    Orinda resident Mary Kate Rittman brought the idea of using InkDwell Studio (InkDwell) to create a mural on the Library to the Friends last year.
    “Orinda needed something joyful and uplifting to be part of the City’s Connect Orinda efforts,” she said.
    Rittman had served on the board of the Rhode Island School of Design where she met Jane Kim, a graduate of the school and founder of the Bay Area company, InkDwell (
    The Friends were looking for a special way to commemorate the Library’s 20th year, and they found it. They commissioned a mural installation on the entire south wall of the Library above the parking garage entrance.
    Every inch of the mural references the flora and fauna of Orinda’s ecosystem. The design was created by Kim and her team at InkDwell. The Friends donated the mural to the City as a gift of public art and will provide 30 years of maintenance.
    President of the Friends, Nancy Ross-Madnick, said it took a while to find the best representation for the mural.
    “Over several months our board of directors reviewed various designs and worked with Jane Kim to produce the beautiful and unique mural we presented to the Orinda City Council, Oct. 19,” said Ross-Madnick. “We received unanimous approval.”
    The mural cost $100,000 and is expected to take about six weeks to complete. The Friends will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at that time, probably spring of 2022.
    The Friends’ Treasurer Linda Landau said the funds collected by the Friends to purchase books and other items for the Library will be kept separate from the funds collected for the mural.

Elana O’Loskey can be reached at

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